Principal deserves added incentive

Dr. Dana Bedden, Richmond County schools superintendent and Jimmy Atkins, chairman of the Richmond County Board of Education, said it was unfair to place Thomas Norris, "a first-year principal, at one of the challenged schools in the county," in the Jan. 11 edition of The Augusta Chronicle . When Dr. Bedden and Mr. Atkins jointly acknowledged their understanding of what's fair, you can safely assume they understand fairness.

When addressing Dr. Wayne Frazier's assignment in this same article, it's stated that "teachers are leaving Tubman, despite the 5 percent raise and $500 yearly stipends given to them. Dr. Frazier won't be getting any financial incentive." Where is the fairness? In the Jan. 25 edition of The Chronicle, another article gives a report on State School Superintendent Kathy Cox's visit to "Tubman Middle School, one of the lowest performing schools ... ." In The Chronicle's article, she speaks of the toughness of the task of turning around a school such as Tubman. Mrs. Cox also goes on to say, "I don't think we have given up on the idea that we can incentivize the teachers and principals to take on some of the greater challenges in education." Since the school is low-performing, according to Mrs. Cox's incentive statement, there already are provisions to entice teachers and principals. If the school's ambiance creates a condition to offer an incentive, then the incentive should be given to all teachers and principals assigned to the school.

It doesn't matter which principal is assigned to Tubman Middle School, Dr. Frazier or anyone else. If the state and county offers an incentive for them to be there, they should receive it. That's fairness. It shouldn't be too hard for Dr. Bedden and Mr. Atkins to explain why they would give an incentive to one employee and not to another, doing the same job under the same conditions. What's the reason for not being fair?

Lonnie C. Wimberly, Augusta

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