Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Unbelievable: More talk of teacher layoffs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:38 PM

And here we go again. With local unemployment at record levels, uncertainty in the air, and other countries’ educational systems outpacing ours year after year, what happens when the schools’ budget tighten up? The kids get screwed.

Ann Doss Helms reports in the Observer today  that Gorman and the school board are already prepping for more teacher layoffs in the next school year. Now, I have no doubt that the budget figures look dismal. But what worries this taxpayer and former CMS parent is that Charlotte – the board, superintendent, county commission, voters, media, etc. – doesn’t take the fundamental, overriding importance of educating kids seriously enough.

It’s such a well-documented truth, it’s become a cliché, but the price students and society pay for giving kids a subpar education is far greater than the money it takes to educate them well. Educating citizens is an absolutely basic (as in, “communities turn to crap without it” kind of basic) necessity. You’d think this would be a given in a civilized country, but you’d apparently be wrong, because Gorman & Co. are listening to an educational consultant who says they’ll have to increase class size or cut some electives.

Here’s another idea for the superintendent and the board: fire the consultant, protect the kids’ education, and find more money. You’re public servants, for God’s sake, so focus, focus, focus on getting the funds you need to give schoolkids a good education – remember that “basic necessity” thing? Tell the county it needs to raise taxes, tell Charlotte’s lawmakers in Raleigh to find more money even if it means, yes, raising state taxes. Here’s a quick idea: a surtax on private schools’ income. I thought of that in 2 seconds; surely the folks in charge at CMS, i.e., the board, can generate more ideas to raise money, rather than sit back and moan about the cuts that will need to be made.

In plain terms, board members, get off your butts, do the job you ran for, protect the kids, and fulfill the basic social need you’re there to provide.

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