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County Sup. Gives State of the Schools Address

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By Cheryl Brown

"Don’t tell me what you believe, show me what you do, and I will tell you what you believe," said Dave Long at his recent state of the county schools briefing.

His speech focused on service, achievement and community. Taking a page out of the Clinton public speaking book, Long introduced his successes to the audience of mostly business people and school personnel.

Under service he spoke of collaboration as he introduced his Safety Unit who has received a grant for $3 million a year for three years and thanked them for the work they do in the Resource office.

He re-introduced the All County Academic Team as the “All Stars” and named the first of the stars to be Huan Xu. She is the only student to receive a 1600 on the SAT 1 and SAT 2 tests. He was also pleased to announce that the Poly Girls Cross Country Team were division winners and they averaged a 3.82 GPA.

Student winners from the Mock Trials came from Poly High School. They looked the part of attorneys so much that Dr. Long missed them in the audience. Last weekend they won the state Mock Trials competition.

Academic Decathlon students from Hemet High School were further proof that the County has a commitment to education. "We shall not flinch. We shall not waiver in the depth and the breadth of our commitment to improve student learning," said Long emphatically.

Many of the districts reported increased API test scores.

Community collaborations were also cited. His famous community summit that takes place every year in the Palm Springs area and his Educational Summit on April 29 (an outgrowth of the Community Summit) were also mentioned. "We work closely with non-profits to expand child care capacity throughout the county," he said.

Other highlights included Long’s praise for Chauncey Veatch of Coachella Valley who is the National Teacher of the Year.

Since the five counties in Southern California: San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego have 60% of the state’s children, they thought it would be advantageous to hire a lobbyist. The growth of our area warrants it, Long said. “The projected growth is 17,000 to 20,000 new students. Where will we put them?

Proposition 47 makes available $817 million for new construction. We will open 15 new schools this year, 28 are under construction and 100 are on the drawing board,” he reported.

The budget is foremost on most minds, he said, "we will strive to keep the cuts as far from the classroom as possible...There is one focal point, they are called children,” he concluded.

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