NC Policy Watch is talking with nominees for the State Board of Education to give our readers a sense of their backgrounds and philosophies on education policy in the state of North Carolina.
The three open slots on the State Board of Education were slated to be filled under Governor Perdue back in 2011. Her nominees were ignored by state lawmakers until the end of her term, and the nominees we had in January were Governor McCrory’s picks. Three additional slots, also nominated by Gov. McCrory, have now opened up in late March.
Name: A.L. Buddy Collins
Occupation: General Practice Attorney, Collins Law Firm; board member, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education.
Education and training: Double major in political science economics at NC State, graduated in 1979. Received his law degree from Campbell School of Law 1982.
Current residence: Kernersville, NC
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Family: Married since 1981 to wife Renee. Has a daughter who graduated from Meredith College and works with him at his law firm. He also has a son who is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill and a scholarship football player there.
Hobbies: Hikes as much as he can, golfs and follows sports.
Why he is interested in serving on the State Board of Education: Been in education since he was first appointed to Forsyth County Board of Education in 1996. In 1994, advocating for the implementation of Forsyth County’s school choice plan motivated Collins to get more involved in local education issues.
What do you see are the major issues facing public education this year? Funding and accountability is always an issue with parents, taxpayers and policymakers.
What is your position on:
- Online virtual charter schools: “In general I’m supportive of parental choice of all forms, and charter schools is one of those forms. The problem with choice mechanisms is how they are funded. Virtual charter schools and the use of technology to force multiply the impact of the teacher is very important. Everyone needs to look at and consider the flipped classroom model . Another issue with virtual schools is funding –you certainly can’t’ fund a virtual school the same way you fund a brick and mortar school.”
- Vouchers and education tax credits: “Again, with respect to choice, I’ve always been a parental choice advocate and a system that allows parents to choose within the framework of maintaining healthy public schools– I’m all for it.”
- Current funding for public schools: “I believe that our schools are adequately funded. Not always sure money is spent in ways that are best for the furtherance of our educational goals.”
- Merit pay for teachers: “We’re currently doing a study in our district on merit pay for teachers. Fundamentally, in society people receive more money for doing their jobs well, so the concept is worthy of study and implementation.”
- A-F grading system for schools: “I don’t think anyone in education is opposed to accountability. The issue is whether the method of accountability is accurate. I’m supportive of accountability measures that the public can access to know how well schools are teaching children.”
How do you describe your politics? I’m a conservative Republican.
Something about you most people don’t know: Has a hiking blog called Hiking with a Fat Bald White Guy Visit it: http://fbwg-hiking.blogspot.com/