Monday night, the School Board unanimously approved the 2017-2024 strategic plan for Williamson County Schools.

WCS hosted four well-attended community meetings to gather input on the strategic plan so it was truly a way for parents, teachers and community members to have a major voice in the strategic direction of the school system. Participants broke into small groups to brainstorm their ideas on technology, finance, planning and zoning, student programming and teacher quality.

Three themes emerged: 1) Investing in Team Quality and Excellence, 2) Improving Student-Centered Operational Support Systems, and 3) Preparing Students for the Future.

"Some of the things [participants] told us they wanted that were a little different, such as putting more emphasis on efforts to prepare our students for the future," said Strategic Planning Committee Chair Rick Wimberly. "And creating an environment that helps support students' general well-being, so they're up for the challenges we're going to present them in the classroom."

The plan below is a culmination of the efforts and feedback of hundreds of community members and will set the direction for WCS for the next seven years. Thanks for being engaged and involved!
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7 days ago  ·  

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BREAKING NEWS: Commissioner Gregg Lawrence's resolution to establish a task force to study the need to request that the General Assembly change state law concerning the use of proceeds obtained from selling Williamson Medical Center and to "evaluate the valuation" of the hospital failed 7-16 with Gregg Lawrence (D4), Kathy Danner (D4), Jeff Ford (D6), Barb Sturgeon (D8), Todd Kaestner (D9), Sherri Clark (D9), and Brandon Ryan (D11) voting to establish the task force. Judy Herbert (D2) was absent. The same commissioners voted for a similar resolution to establish a task force to study the sale of the hospital in November 2014 and rejected the property tax change in July 2016.

Under current state law, revenue from selling the hospital to a private entity couldn't be used to pay down debt or build schools or roads, and according to county attorney Jeff Moseley, "By and large, the hospital is operated without taxpayer dollars."
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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Another perspective on selling Williamson Medical Center from District 11 County Commissioner Brian Beathard, who was first elected in 2010:

"Our Medical Center is not intended to be a profit center. If our hospital were privately held, profits would be chief amongst its objectives; and most of that revenue would go to the investors and/or the salaries of its CEO and VP’s. Our hospital is run by a board made up of mostly private citizens, and we take our profits and reinvest them back into the hospital – to procure new equipment, hire new doctors, and offer additional services. And so it happens that our hospital is both renowned for the healthcare service it provides, and makes a profit simultaneously.

"If we sell the Williamson County Medical Center, we will then have a privately held hospital dangerously close to a major market (Nashville). If the chain that buys us determines it is more profitable to have our ambulances rerouted to their Nashville location, that is what will happen. We will have sold one of our biggest assets, one of our largest employers, and one of our greatest protections against a growing national healthcare crises – all to put a temporary fix on a larger county budgeting issue.

"I once championed this endeavor. I have since changed my mind. Not merely because of the aforementioned; but because state law has recently changed, requiring that all proceeds from selling our hospital would have to go towards indigent care. Indigent care is not currently a problem in Williamson County; in no small part because we own our own hospital.

"Selling our hospital would require changing this state law. A difficult enough task before you consider the fact the current law was sponsored by our own Williamson County state legislators. If there is a desire to form a task force or a committee (and you don’t need the county’s permission to do this) its first efforts of concentration should be focused towards our state legislators. Anything the county does preceding this would be a waste of time and money.

"I learned all this without forming a committee. I picked up the phone and reached out to potential buyers and met with their CEOs. I spoke with the Medical Center’s staff. I met with representatives from the hospital’s board. I did all the things that Commissioner Lawrence has yet to do; and it lead me to change my mind about selling this asset. I have no ties to the hospital emotionally or otherwise. I have no family members that work for the medical center; and I can’t trace my roots back like so many residents who can remember the days when having a hospital was this county’s chief objective. I simply looked at all the facts presented from both sides and realized it would be shortsighted to sell something this county has going right – to stave off any current financial hurdles for a finite period of time.

"Brian Beathard
County Commissioner
Cell: 615-752-8628"
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3 weeks ago  ·  

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