PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Chamber of Commerce leadership is pushing for change in the Bay County School District. On Thursday, they unveiled another resolution in their education initiative.
Commerce leaders are asking business leaders to run for school board seats. Last month the chambers urged members to begin volunteering in county schools.
“Bay District Schools has a lot of potential to improve and we want to enact that change,” Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher Moore said.
Moore ran unopposed for the district three school board seat. He and other chamber members believe they can efficiently manage the district’s $500 million budget.
“We’d like to see a little bit of diversity of skillsets,” Moore said. “In particular we’d like to see business acumen, fiscal responsibility. We’re talking about a half-billion-dollar budget which is more than all six of the municipalities here in Bay County put together.”
Chamber officials said they want to focus on improving test scores and graduation rates.
“We surveyed our membership, they decided that education is of key importance to our community,” Commerce Governmental Affairs Chairman Darren Haiman said. “And obviously it is. That’s the bedrock of what we do. Without a proper education system, without a proper education, we’re nowhere.”
Bay District Schools issued a statement welcoming the chamber’s involvement. But school officials also suggested the chamber should bring high-paying jobs and affordable housing to Bay County.
Here is Bay District Schools full statement:
We welcome, and applaud, the involvement of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce in our schools and in the lives of our precious children. We hope the local chamber will focus on the Paths to Prosperity Program as outlined by the Florida Chamber of Commerce as we believe the Chamber can, and should, have a positive influence on the ten root causes of poverty. Our children, and their families, need access to affordable housing, high-paying jobs/career fields and other resources that contribute to academic achievement and long-term success.