Monday, October 22, 2012

BOS, round 2.

I've actually been working on a couple of posts the past few days, but suddenly my writer's fingers demanded a detour.  Unfortunately, it's to revisit an old, painful, unhealed wound.  (These metaphors are terrible.  I'm out of creative juice.)  Anyway--

You remember this whole mess from the spring, right?  And this?  And this?

Well, here's a quick and dirty summary of the current state of affairs (written by someone else, edited by me):

The School Board has reached a desperate point this year and will have to make decisions that will affect you, your family, your livelihood and your wallet.

Due to the under-funding of the school system, the School Board is now forced to decide between the following options. The one chosen will be implemented this school year, beginning in January 2013.  Options include:

• Operating the schools only four days a week (longer days) which would mean no sports or practices could be held on that closed day. Closing the schools would also create potential day care challenges for many parents.
• Additional furlough days for employees
• Eliminating all spring 2013 Virginia High School League sports.
• Closing C. Elementary which has 119 students and eliminate its 12 staff members.
• Closing C. Elementary which has 191 students and eliminate its 12 staff members.

One or more of these options will be implemented on Jan 1, 2013

...and here's my response. Again. 

Dear Board of Supervisors,

Your continued failure to make sound decisions regarding the health and welfare of our public school system is appalling.  I am angry that you, once again, did not approve the funding necessary to support the needs of the county's students and staff.  When the Superintendent approached you last week to request $308,000 for the sustainability of the schools, the only correct response would have been a resounding yes.  Instead, there was a single motion followed by the deafening silence of the devastation and destruction you're causing.

None of the options currently being weighed by the School Board are viable options, because every option will result in catastrophic effects on this community.  Furloughing underpaid teachers is unacceptable, particularly coupled with the increase in insurance the teachers have been forced to bear.  Closing the smaller schools is unacceptable, as the number of students per teacher has already increased since you first slashed the school budget in the spring.  Lengthening the school day and moving to a four day week is unacceptable for myriad reasons, including the fact that a good number of students rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch, every day, for their nourishment.  Eliminating transportation for students is unacceptable, because those who need to be at school the most will have the hardest time getting there. 

Your continued failure to fund the schools demonstrates your complete lack of commitment to the children in this county and to their sound educational futures.  Please hear me loudly and clearly: your actions are unconscionable.  You do not represent the majority of the individuals who elected you into the office you now hold.  You have made, and are continuing to make, the most egregious budgetary and financial errors.      
Yet you, the Board of Supervisors, again have the opportunity to do the right thing.  You have the opportunity to approve additional funding for the 2012-13 school year and avoid creating even more crippling effects on our students and staff. 

Nothing is more important than your provision of $308,000 for the sustainability of our schools. 


Anne S. Carter 


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