MARCH 8, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:30 P.M. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- All the school districts in Craighead County are forming an education association, the Craighead County Education Association.
Six school districts...Jonesboro, Nettleton, Valley View, Riverside, Brookland, and Westside. With so many school districts, so many teachers, and so many students...it's an easy decision. All these people need to be heard, and more importantly, need to be able to come together to make an even better group of school districts.
"We share students, we share the calendar, we share concerns. A lot of things that happen in the Jonesboro School District, happen in the Nettleton School District. So, if we can get together once a month and talk about what's happening in our schools, and solve some of our problems together," says Robin Nichols, Co-Chair of CCEA and Nettleton Media Specialist.
This new Craighead County Education Association was recently awarded the largest of three national education grants. The grant totaled $24,000. So, you're probably wondering what the group is going to do with all that money?
Well, they say they're still making those plans, but so far they've joined the Jonesboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and will host a booth at the upcoming Business Expo. And they will of course continue to be active with their state group, providing support to the people that will voice their concerns to law makers.
"When we're here teaching the students, and we can't be there, we have lobbyists that are down there watching the governor and the legislators and fighting for us and fighting for our needs," says Nichols.
But she doesn't want you to confuse this group with a union group. Nichols says this is merely a support group for the teachers. And most importantly, a group whose main goal is to address common issues anc concerns across school district boundaries.
"We want everybody to see us, we want them to know what we're here for and what we're doing, we want to be here for the teachers. That's what our organization is for, for the teachers, the support staff, and for all the students in the schools here in Craighead County," says Nichols.