To the Editor:
We are writing this letter in support of Laurie Paine, who is running for the Oak Ridge Board of Education. We have two children who attended Oak Ridge schools and are now pursuing college educations. We feel Ms. Paine has many excellent qualities that she can offer to the community by serving on the Board of Education.
Among those qualities would be her educational and work background. Ms. Paine has experience in both accounting and project management. As a project manager for several companies, Ms. Paine has worked with large budgets. She was the senior project manager for one company. We know personally that Ms. Paine is familiar with the Oak Ridge Schools budget as she has done research and has attended BOE budget meetings in the past. The tools she has gained with her business experience will prove to be invaluable in the budget deliberation process and other financial decisions the BOE must vote on. If elected, Ms. Paine will see to it that ORS and the BOE have financial accountability and transparency.
Secondly, Ms. Paine cares about Oak Ridge children and wants to make them a priority. Ms. Paine states that currently 47 percent of Oak Ridge students come from financially disadvantaged families. She wants to ensure that these students and all Oak Ridge students are given equal opportunities in our school system. She will work to fairly allocate resources to benefit all students, and she especially wants to give hope and a voice to those children with limited financial resources.
Most people in our community are aware that Ms. Paine has fought twice to eliminate unsafe “walk zones” or PRZs, which were voted in by the BOE. This past July and August, she co-led the successful effort to reinstate school bus transportation for this school year. The school administration has openly stated the current level of bus transportation will likely be cut again. If elected, Ms. Paine will do her best to ensure this does not happen. If however, a transportation cut cannot be avoided, Ms. Paine will work for a safer and fairer solution than what was previously decided.
Ms. Paine is not perfect and has made mistakes. Ms. Paine has acknowledged her errors, learned from them, and overcome them. We invite everyone to view the Elect Laurie Paine for Oak Ridge Board of Education page on Facebook, where she discloses and discusses this, and also shares her views on other issues. Ms. Paine asks that people vote for her not because they know her story, but because they are confident that she is the right candidate for this position. Ms. Paine has our vote, and we hope you will give her one of yours!
Steven and Michelle Doka