Herr Out to Change Stafford Schools’ ‘Trickle Down’ Funding Approach
– September 20, 2013 9:53 am
William “Eric” Herr
- Age: 53
- Political Party: Independent
- Running for: Stafford County School Board
- District: Hartwood District
- Opponent: Holly Hazard
- Originally from: Philadelphia, Penn.
- Profession: Department of Defense
- Position: Engineer and Technology Development Program Manager (2007-present)
- Military: United States Air Force
- Military Duty: Fighter Pilot (Reserves 1977-1982 , active duty 1982-2007)
- Education: University of Colorado
- Degree: Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (1981)
- Education: University of Southern California
- Degree: Master of Science and Systems Management
- Education: United States Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies
- Degree: Master of Airpower Art and Science (1995)
- Family: Wife: Lisa; Children: 4 sons.
William “Eric” Herr is a candidate for the Hartwood District of the Stafford County School Board. He currently lives in Stafford with his wife of 30 years, Lisa, and works for the Department of Defense as an engineer and technology development program manager. He says he made the decision to run for the school board because he would like to see positive changes for schools and his district.
“I didn’t like some of the decisions that were coming out of the board and some of the strategies and some of the relationships between the Board of Supervisors and the school board,” says Herr. He says he will focus a large part of his campaign toward improving those relationships and conditions for teachers and students.
“I think the greatest challenge is that we’ve taken the focus away from the actual learning and teaching in the classroom,” says Herr. “There are many activities now that are not directly related to learning and teaching and I think we have to minimize and eliminate some of those activities.”
Herr says his goals consist of three main components: putting more trust into our teachers, focusing more on teaching and learning and adjust the compensation scale to attract more quality teachers.
“I’ve talked to a ton of teachers, hundreds of parents and I listen to what their priorities are and what their concerns are to get the most accurate picture of what’s going on.”
Herr also hopes to change the way schools are funded using an “inside-out” approach.
“The way we fund our school right now in Stafford is we fund the headquarters first and then that money trickles down to the classrooms,” he says. “My focus will be on funding the classrooms first.”
Herr says the starting pay in Stafford is one of the lowest, despite having one of the highest salaries for teachers in the region.
“Our starting pay is tied with the last in the region,” says Herr. “I think we need to raise that up so we can attract great teachers so they can become a part of the community and then promote our leaders from within a pool of great teachers.”
In reference to legislation signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell last spring that assigns an A to F grading system to rate a school’s performance, Herr says it is fair that schools are graded the same way students are.
“There can be no secrets and no information held back from the parents about how our schools our doing, just like they deserve to know how their children are doing,” says Herr. “I want to see all of our schools in Stafford get A’s, but whatever grade we get, I don’t think that’s the main issue.”
“The issue is making sure our schools are set up to best teach our students and then measure that performance and report that performance of the schools back to the parents.”
Herr says he will make a good candidate for the Hartwood seat of the Stafford County School Board because of his experience as a leader through the military and as a project manager.
“I understand how to develop a team and reach common goals and I think teamwork between the school board and board of supervisors is critical,” says Herr. “I think we need to be willing to listen and then synthesize the results into an accessible course of action.”