The Moore County Schools Key Communicators met in Carthage on Thursday. The Key Communicators is a network of for-profit, non-profit and governmental leaders who are interested in Moore County Schools and are well connected to our schools and our community. The purpose of the group is to promote a continuing exchange between key communicators and the school district.

Student reassignment for the new schools was discussed at the meeting.

There are two phases of the reassignment. The initial and most pressing issue is to address overcrowding in the schools. The second phase will attempt to assure a proper balance in the new schools’ student bodies.

Among the many factors that are used to determine school assignments, including race, gender, and achievement scores, federal law prohibits the usage of economic factors in the calculation of student assignments. The guiding principles for the reassignment are balance, planning, efficiency, and community.  A public hearing to discuss the redistricting is slated for November 5.

In other news discussed in the meeting, the Moore County School District is considered a Tier 3 district and covers over 700 square miles, which makes it one of the largest school districts in terms of geographic size in North Carolina. The tier system in the state ranks counties on four factors;  average unemployment rate, median household income, percentage growth in population and adjusted property tax base per capita.

The 40 lowest counties are considered Tier 1, the next 40 Tier 2 and the remaining Tier 3. Tier 1 and 2 school districts are entitled to additional funding from the North Carolina Lottery whereby Tier 3 districts are excluded. 

Recently, the Moore County Commissioners updated a resolution requesting that Tier 3 districts with populations under 100,000 be allowed to participate in the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund. 

Currently, Moore County receives approximately $870,000 yearly from lottery funds and an additional $750,000 from the Moore County Commissioners.

With capital construction needs of over 20 million dollars looming over the district, additional funding is critically needed. This is the reason that the public is being urged to support the sales tax amendment on November’s ballot.

The 1/4 cent tax increase, if the ballot passes, will bring Moore County sales tax in line with surrounding counties and additionally will raise a substantial amount for school construction. The Moore County Commissioners have pledged that all additional funds raised through the increase in the sales tax will be used exclusively for school construction. 

Other topics discussed was the re-branding of Moore County Schools.

This effort will include a new logo, slogan and eventually a multimedia presentation. With public schools entering an unprecedented era of competition, the new motto “Engage, Inspire, Succeed” more accurately reflects the mission and vision of Moore County Schools moving forward. 

Lastly, the naming of the new Area I Elementary School which is under construction on Camp Easter Road was discussed. 

An initial request for suggested names from the public just ended.  At the next school board meeting, a short list of names will be approved, and once again the public will be able to vote and comment online from Nov 6 through Nov. 23. A final decision will be made at the December school board meeting. 

The next Key Communicators meeting will be held March 21 at 4 pm. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact the Key Communicators Facilitator, Catherine Murphy.

Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel reporter, Chris Prentice.


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