Babur Lateef joined the county School Board several months ago.
The Chair discussed his experience and the impact he hopes to have.
Made up of eight members, the School Board creates policies for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS). It’s also responsible for overseeing the Superintendent.
“So, we hire the Superintendent and we ensure he has the resources he needs to accomplish what we need to do for the schools,” Lateef said.
Determining how to improve infrastructure and safety are a couple of challenges Lateef has faced.
Increasing salaries for teachers is another one.
Many younger teachers will work for PWCS for a couple of years before pursuing a job that provides more compensation.
“So, our job is to find ways to recruit and retain good teachers, and it’s not unusual that your older child has a great teacher and then your next child doesn’t have that teacher, [be]cause that teacher left,” Lateef said. “And, so, you see that across the county with all of our schools.”
Superintendent Steve Walts is requesting about $25 million for employee raises as part of his proposed fiscal 2020 budget.
The proposed $1.1 million spending plan was presented to the board earlier this month.
Babur explained that he wants to impact how students are trained for the workforce.
Students living in other countries may perform better in math and science than those in the United States.
America, however, does well in creativity, innovation and discovery.
“People are still coming here, because the one thing you can’t test — or the one thing that is difficult — is how do we teach creativity, discovery. And I want to make sure we don’t lose that, [be]cause that’s what we’ve always been number 1 at.”
Parents who are interested in staying informed on the School Board may visit PWCS’ website, where they can find a meeting schedule and agendas.
“We’d love to invite people in to come and attend our meetings,” Lateef said. “They’re welcome to email us with questions or concerns they have.”
He also recommends that they join parent teacher organizations and the Superintendent’s advisory councils.
© Copyright 2018 What's Up Prince William. All Rights Reserved