Do Words Matter? And At What Cost?

By: Joseph Maguire

For this article, I’d like to point out Lee County School District Strategic Plan Objective 13.

  • Objective 13: Increase operational efficiency
    • KPI 13.1: Increase the number of defined impact measures to improve the cost-effectiveness of services and value for expended funds


The Lee County School Board Envision 2030 plan contains a framework to define and guide the district’s actions and leadership and shape its future. Every year, organizations across the nation carve out time to create mission, vision, and value statements. Countless dollars and time are spent on this pursuit, and additional expense is undertaken in communicating these plans and their merits as organizations proceed forward.

Why is it so hard to alter a decision’s course when it is clear that it is in direct opposition to the plan’s stated goals?

Last year, concerned citizens took the time to illustrate the problems associated with building a high school in Alva. The site lacked critical infrastructure, it was located on environmentally sensitive land, and its proposed location was miles away from the students it was intended to serve. These features would make the school expensive to build, and expensive to operate, and require significant expenditures of funds to create the transportation infrastructure to deliver students to their new school.

The superintendent and the board assured the taxpayers that they could change their minds if the process indicated the costs were too high.

At the same time as the decision for phase 1 of the new Alva High School, the school board was marching forward with a plan to fix its broken student transportation program and adopt a new neighborhood school focus. Simultaneously, legislation was passed in Tallahassee that would change school start times and put additional pressure on districts and their transportation systems.

The Lee County School Board adopted the Envision 2030 plan several years ago. Integral values are Integrity and Accountability. We are honest, fair, and open in all of our interactions. We take responsibility for our actions and their results. Objective 13 is centered on improving cost effectiveness of services and value for expended funds.

The drumbeat of cost and efficiency is roaring, the time to reverse course is now.

Continuing with this approach is in direct opposition to the adopted strategic plan. Due to transportation costs alone, this school’s operational cost flies in the face of cost-effectiveness.

If you are truly honest, fair, and open in all your interactions and take responsibility for your actions and their results, then reverse course, show the community that your strategic plan is more than just words, and stop the construction of high school NNN (as they call it) in Alva.


Download the Lee County School District’s Strategic Plan at:

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