Cumberland Times-News

Letters

December 9, 2013

Fiscal prudence during tight timess needed in education

Jeremy Gosnell fails to understand that educational spending is subject to the availability of money (“Letter reflects an attitude common in Garrett County,” Dec. 7 Times-News).

And Garrett County has a deficit. And in any county there are many calls on the dollars available. Education is merely one of those demands.

 For Mr. Gosnell we should spend all the money demanded by teachers without regards to the other needs of citizens in the county.

In a county where school-age population is shrinking, the number of students in a school is very often insufficient to justify spending tax dollars to keep the facility open.

 Whether he likes it or not schools are about money not just about education.

If a school does not have sufficient enrollment to justify the expense of building maintenance and teacher’s salaries, the only intelligent answer is to close the school and merge its pupils with those of another school. It is the prudent fiscal approach in a time of tight budgets.

 Mr. Gosnell forgets that these are public schools which means public financing. If he wants to keep a specific school open then he should find like-minded people who will spend their own money to run the school as a charter school or a private school or he might want to consider home schooling.

 It does not dilute education to merge schools, as Mr. Gosnell seems to think, school mergers and closures happen all the time across the country.

He needs to accept the fact that when budget are tight, schools must be closed as counties struggle to meet all the needs of their community.

 As for teachers, well teacher’s unions are facing blowback nationwide for some of their egregious conduct, so they are not dependable source of unbiased opinion with respect to school closures — after all their jobs are at stake. (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12

/education-teachers-unions-moment-of-truth-national-education-association-american-federation-of-teachers-100813.html?hp=t1
)

Judith Weller, Ph.D

LaVale

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