Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Save Our Schools

I am feeling cautiously optimistic, as it appears as though our efforts toward convincing our Board of Supervisors to amend the budget are working.... perhaps a compromise is in the works.  I've teeter-tottered between feeling empowered and encouraged by the incredible show of solidarity among an enormously diverse group of people united, and feeling utterly despondent and brokenhearted that the efforts of hundreds might be squelched by the decision of 3.  My letter to the Board:

Dear Board of Supervisors,

It is not often that we are given a second chance to make something right after we’ve made a grave mistake.  Your recent decision to cut over $2 million from the school budget was a grave mistake.  The 11th hour decision came as a complete surprise to the School Board members, to two of your fellow supervisors, and to the community at large.  Your “hardball politics” are viewed by some as borderline unethical. 

A good businessman would certainly understand why you cannot advertise one rate and suddenly change that rate to something staggeringly different; you cannot, for example, advertise that an ice cream cone costs $1.50, yet when the customer comes to the register, announce that the price you really meant was $3.  Likewise, you cannot advertise a tax rate increase of $0.68, but suddenly decrease that rate drastically because of the influence of a single private group.  You blindsided the School Board and the community with your sudden change to a lower tax rate, and your decision does not reflect the desire of the majority of voters – and taxpayers – in the county.    

Despite the figures offered in various reports, the total cost of your decision is immeasurable: it is the cost of our children’s education and their future.  You have delivered them a devastating and crushing blow. 

When we, the voters, elected you, we did so because we trusted you to act in the best interests of the citizens and to represent us fairly and accurately.  You have done neither in your recent vote.  We believed that you were invested and committed to a healthy, safe, educationally solid public school system; your budget vote demonstrates otherwise.  Your decision does not reflect those whom you serve.  You have made a grave mistake.

Therefore, I implore you to right your wrongdoing, to fix your mistake.  I do not believe for a minute that any of you wishes to harm the students in this county, and I hold fast to the belief that, upon deep reflection, you will come to realize the error of your budget vote. 

Thomas Jefferson stated, “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty."

Amend the budget.  Restore $1.4 million to level funds.  Provide an additional $900,000 to fund the new high school.  Only through these actions will you demonstrate your commitment to our students, your investment into their future.


Anne S. Carter

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