sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

 
The way I see it.....

Hoggard briefly addressed funding to help with school discipline problem in his early-morning post. I had a different view of the situation, and posted a comment on his blog. Here is my view, for the rest of the public. If my memory is faulty, someone help me out.

Hoggard said that $1 million in funding was denied for SCALE, the alternative school for kids who are suspended from regular school. The $1 million included in the school's budget was basically for "sensitivity training" for administrators and faculty. That turned off more than a couple of county commissioners.

During budget negotiations, I asked one county commissioner about the $1 million. "It ain't gonna happen," he said.

The improvements to SCALE were more in the $369,000 range, and were not included in the system's formal presentation to county commissioners. I remember because I attended both the presentation and the school board meeting later that night, and could not believe my ears the school board wanted to tack another $369,000 onto a budget they already knew would be lean.

But board member Marti Sykes had a solution: Divert some of the $1 million to address discipline problems toward improvements at SCALE.

But, as I reported in that week's GGO, superintendent Terry Grier held firm.

"That's not what (the $1 million) is for," Grier said.

At any rate, the $1 million was not included in the budget passed by the school board last night. But, according to today's N&R, school funding is again an issue with the county commissioners, almost a month after the county has passed its budget.

The thing is, the particular issue seems misguided: funding for more teachers. I've followed the school budgeting process from the beginning, and the issue of funding for more teachers never came up. Trust me, we would know if that was an issue. The system might be short on teachers, but not due to a lack of funding. So it seems to me that any commissioner who wants to provide more funding to the schools for more teachers is missing the point.

Somebody set me straight if I'm the one missing the point..... I've got calls out to school board members.


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