County Commissioners Leave Education Lacking

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Cannon County Director of Schools Barbara Parker and the Board of Education returned to a place they had preferred to avoid last week - the cutting block.

Following the Cannon County Commissioners’ meeting at the Courthouse Saturday (July 16), when a decision for the 2011-12 budget was tabled until their August meeting, the School Board continued a recessed meeting at the Central Office to determine where to go in terms of cuts and a budget for the upcoming school year.

Parker had asked for $79,808 from the commission's budget committee that would have been funded through four cents on the tax rate. The Board of Education had previously approved the 2011-12 general purpose school budget in June.

With the start of school scheduled for Aug. 5, the Board is forced to move forward its general budget and additional cuts.

"We had already cut this budget as lean as we could," Board Member Cathy Hyatt said. "We have done all we can do. I don't know what else we can do."

One means of solving the issue is to combine classes and share teachers at some schools, while making tough cuts at others.

Parker and principals at the seven county schools have worked tirelessly to come up with ideas to cut an additional $80,000 from a budget that was already strapped.

"I am looking for (the Board) to give me direction and to cut an additional $80,000 out of this budget if you are OK with what is being proposed," Parker told the Board.

Board member Shannon Davenport said the BOE feared such additional cuts. She made the motion to allow Parker to work with the principals and supervisors on the cuts. Board Chairman Randy Gannon seconded and the motion carried 4-0.

"We knew we would have to cut and that it would come down to personnel," Davenport said. "It frustrates me when I sit out there and beg for (County) Commissioners to come to the (Middle School) forums and listen to the public. I begged and pleaded and told people to call their commissioners and then I have a handful of people show up for the 20 cent tax increase proposal and there is a commissioner who sits over there and says they don't know what to do.”

"Had they attended forums, called and asked questions, they would have been given answers. If you won't pick up the phone and you are not listening to people then I don't know how you could vote for something. We are making tough decisions here."

The original system budget called for three cuts at CCHS. The new cuts would mean two additional positions could be cut, one from the high school. Schools also would be asked to combine certain classes and share teachers to avoid more substantial cuts in the elementary schools.

"East Side combined last year and Short Mountain is looking at combining classes this year," Parker said. "We are working to make sure one school will not suffer the entire brunt of these cuts each year. I am working closely with the principals and there will be no surprises."

Student registration for the 2011-12 school year is Aug. 4 and the first full day of classes is Aug. 5.
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Members Opinions:
July 23, 2011 at 6:49am
The sports in our county are self-supporting. They are not given money by the BOE. As a matter of fact, basketball games BRING IN money to the schools!
July 23, 2011 at 7:20am
Eliminating sports would most likely be counter-productive in that it would cause parents of students would wanted to play sports to either move to a surrounding county, or send their children to a school in one of those counties.
July 23, 2011 at 8:38am
My children played golf and tennis amoung other sports while attending CCHS and their teacher/coach was paid nothing. Many much needed social skills and life lessons are learned through extracurricular activities.
July 23, 2011 at 9:48am
redmolly...Cutting sports would mean the the eliminating the possibility of our student-atheletes recieving a little over 200,000 dollars in athletic scholarships this past year. Your idea is not a good one.

choateo...thank you for noticing that basketball does bring money in, CCHS recieves 10% of the gate money from the games.

Now, onto an actual solution. I would ask other departments to make such drastic cuts as well. Mrs Parker and the Board have done thier part, where are the other county officials and entities in terms of cutting items out of thier budget? Why should education get hit so hard?
July 23, 2011 at 10:32am
Redmolly, seriously? Just last school year alone five CCHS STUDENT-athletes in football, girls basketball and boys basketball earned college scholarships totaling more than $250,000. That's more than a quarter of a million dollars and that's more than 25 percent of the total scholarship money gained by the ENTIRE senior class (academic or otherwise).

Two of them aspire to return to Woodbury and open a Sports Medicine Clinic together upon completing their education. Wow!!!

This scholarship money was earned because these student-athletes combined academics and athletics and their coaches advanced their skills to the point they have such opportunities. Would these same five student-athletes have had similar opportunities without athletics? In at least three of the five cases, probably not.

But it's not just about those five young people. It's about the hundreds who are provided opportunities through team sports that can't be taught in a classroom. Important lessons like being part of something bigger than yourself, being a team, balance, dedication, I could go on and on.

Coaches are not "paid" to coach by the BOE. Teachers are hired to educate. Some of them happen to be coaches. Some of those who coach receive supplements for their coaching services and some, because their sport does not generate revenue, coach for free. Many assistant coaches get paid nothing for working with these young people. Basically, they are volunteers.

Cannon County will have a boys and girls cross country team for the first time this school year. Coach Larson, who is an outstanding teacher who also happens to coach, is working with these boys and girls without compensation (for his coaching services).

Redmolly, you may also be absolutely shocked to realize that many of Cannon County's six elementary schools actually count on money made at the gate during the elementary basketball season to assist in funding. They actually count on it. The B-Team Tournament at the end of the year? It is an Auburn School fund-raiser. Thousands of monies are generated for Cancer Research during the annual Cannon County Cancer Elementary Basketball Tournament.

People have opinions as to what should and shouldn't be done, or could or couldn't be done, to assist with the budget during tough economic times.

Schools already are suffering enough with the cuts made. Director of Schools Barbara Parker and the BOE should not have to make additional cuts, but since the county commissioners prefer not to invest in their youth and subsequent future, those tough decisions have to be made. Suggesting students should have even more opportunities cut because of lack of funding is ludicrous.
July 23, 2011 at 10:40am
redmolly I don't remember anyone asking for 25 to 30 million dollars to build a new middle school. Where and when did you hear that?

However, I do remember from the school bolard meetings and the online discussion the idea of combining two or three of our grammar schools and forming a middle school from that idea.

I also remember how much Barbara Parker stated it cost to operate an individual school. Approximately $800,000 according to her figures. Some with less than 150 students K-8 enrolled in them.

There are different ways to solve this problem without cutting athletics or eliminating educational programs.

To deal with it we will have to make the hard choice instead of the sentimental choice. When we do we will begin the process of fixing the problem.
July 23, 2011 at 11:05am
The lesson here is that the future of the younger generation will be degraded... Keep sports. Cut teachers. Sounds like a good idea to me! Get rid of all those unimportant things like learning something... Why are cuts always made from the bottom up? This is a POOR reflection on the community. I would not educate children here... But if you're good at basketball.... Simply re-read the posts above... Sports in - Education out! Imagine what the county will be like in 30 years? Sad... Very sad...
July 23, 2011 at 12:39pm
Leaving aside the aspect that participation in sports provides educational value, and well as physical, I do not think the amount of money allocated to sports detracts significantly from math, science, English, history, etc. And if that child is good at basketball, and has no opportunity to play here, he or she will go elsewhere, along with the money the system receives from the state for each student. However, if I am shown monetary figures which indicate otherwise, I'll reconsider my view.
July 23, 2011 at 1:13pm
Sports is not the problem, overspending mandated by the state and federal goverments is the problem.
July 23, 2011 at 8:53pm
Mr Schuler, may I ask why you believe keeping sports will then lead to cutting teachers? Do you have any data to back this statement up?

No one is attempting to put athletics before education. That is an uneducated and unfounded statement on your part. Again, can you tell us how athletics puts a strain on education??? And since you "would not educate children here" I feel you should be qualified to educate me on what data you have to back these statements up.
July 23, 2011 at 10:00pm
Well, I am truly NOT a sports person. I believe in music and the arts. I believe children learn more from those than sports games. BUT, if sports is what a child loves to be involved with, then they should have that opportunity to excel in those areas. What has happened that our school district seems to be regressing instead of progressing? How can any thing in this county be more important to fund, than the education of our children?? I moved to this county from Coffee. I put 3 of my 4 older kids through high school there and I am so disappointed with the educational system I found here in Cannon. WOW, was it so different! Sone very dedicated teachers who have little to work with as far as funding. I had more courses offered to me 25 years ago in my high school in Coffee county than Cannon offers here in 2011. Something is wrong with that!!! Really wish this 4th kid could go elsewhere, even if we had to consider moving back. I love the small town and the beautiful terrain and the friendly people. But, someone needs to get people in leadership at whatever level it takes, to look ahead not behind.
July 24, 2011 at 12:02am
I heard rumors of teachers possibly teaching two grades in one room...HOW AWFUL! Sports over education? Not all of these kids will become professional athletes! Educate our children in school! Sports are after school activities!
July 24, 2011 at 3:39am
One only has to read the daily articles in this paper that mention crime, meth busts, robbery, and assault to see why there is such a problem with lack of skills that comes with education in this county. Educated folks don't do meth, steal from their neighbors, assault each other over oxycontin and prescription drugs. Life skills go a long way to building a safe community. Supporting our teachers so they can do their job is a good thing.
July 24, 2011 at 5:44am
"since the county commissioners prefer not to invest in their youth and subsequent future"
A quote from above which goes right to the heart of the problem.

Education should be the last of all programs to be cut. County commissioners should be outfront with demands for more money for our schools systems whereby our high school gradutes are competing for scholastic scholarships at the best universities across the USA.
The enlightened people of the county should be forcing the issue with commissioners if they are reluctant to step forward.
The future is not bright for our young people who are graduating now and in the years to come.

It is extremely shortsighted to degrade our school systems anymore than what they have been.
July 24, 2011 at 8:21am
I have been apart of sports in this county since the late 1960's. I believe that all sports can be used to teach life lessons that you can not teach in a regular classroom. Former coaches taught me much about how to handle and face tough decisions in life andI thank them all for that.This county should have the best that we can put together.I do not want sports to be cut in anyway period.Call your leaders and have them to support the schools in all ways possible. You get what you pay for. If I made anyone mad I am sorry. We all want what is best but sometimes actions speak louder than words.
July 24, 2011 at 9:08am
redmolly I definitely agree with the idea of turning the High School into a middle school and building a new one when we can plan for it and afford it more properly.

As it currently stands, I know of no plans to do anything except complain about how bad it is and how pathetic our current system is, neither of which I believe to be true.

Like I said above, in order to begin to change the problem we will have to start making the tough decisions.

If it costs us $800,000 to keep one school open then doesn't it seem more logical to combine two of them and save that money and not cut in other places?

From what I read above we have a $80,000 shortfall. If we combine two then we have a surplus. We also don't have the problem of teachers who have more than one class.

I think we can all agree education is front and foremost and athletics is secondary. However, that does not mean we can't have both.

We all can complain until the cows come home, but solutions require effort and hard choices. I just hope we can all look toward that and stop the blame game.
July 24, 2011 at 9:21am
If I am incorrect in my observations about sports, then I apologize. If sports is not to the detriment of educational budget then it is not a part of the debate. If money that could be spent on better instructors or improved education over a nice new shiny basketball hoop, then I say make a hoop out of a clothes hanger... Are people objecting to my observation here? Get your priorities straight! I could NOT imagine keeping a sports program while sandwiching two classes with two different teachers together... It is important to realize I am not vilifying sporting activities. I simply believe that education is first. Redmolly makes the point well that there is value and benefit within the sports setting... BUT... Every student goes to class (A mandated requirement.) - Not every student plays at sports. (An optional elective activity.) Education is a must... Playing basketball isn't. Stop implying that my comments are out of line please... And I stand firm with my thoughts that I would not have my children in the school system here. I would move to a better educational area... If you are offended by that, please do not be. It is not meant to be insulting. It's to express my point that this system of education in Cannon county is lacking in foresight.
July 24, 2011 at 9:23am
If I am incorrect in my observations about sports, then I apologize. If sports is not to the detriment of educational budget then it is not a part of the debate. If money that could be spent on better instructors or improved education over a nice new shiny basketball hoop, then I say make a hoop out of a clothes hanger... Are people objecting to my observation here? Get your priorities straight! I could NOT imagine keeping a sports program while sandwiching two classes with two different teachers together... It is important to realize I am not vilifying sporting activities. I simply believe that education is first. Redmolly makes the point well that there is value and benefit within the sports setting... BUT... Every student goes to class (A mandated requirement.) - Not every student plays at sports. (An optional elective activity.) Education is a must... Playing basketball isn't. Stop implying that my comments are out of line please... And I stand firm with my thoughts that I would not have my children in the school system here. I would move to a better educational area... If you are offended by that, please do not be. It is not meant to be insulting. It's to express my point that this system of education in Cannon county is lacking in foresight.
July 24, 2011 at 10:10am
No matter where you live, if you drop your children off everyday and expect the system to educate them, by the time you realize your error it will be too late.

July 24, 2011 at 11:14am
I would never just drop my kid off and let it go at that....
July 24, 2011 at 1:43pm
Please take no offence Jeff because my comment was not directed to you personally but a general comment to all eariler postings.

my point is the primary educator should be family, especially parents, with support from the educational system. today many children have parents who expect the system to do it all and point the finger of blame everywhere except in the mirror.

as an example, my children were taught manners and respect at home which not only earned them respect in school from peers and facility but has made their lives happier and better. It has never been ,nor should it ever be, the systems place to teach manners, morals and ethics.

Our teachers could be better teachers if they could spend their time teaching instead of having to be parents!

as for sports I believe very little, if any, of educations budget is spent toward sports: therefor it should not be a part of this debate.
July 24, 2011 at 3:23pm
I personally don't believe any of the teachers my son has had here in Cannon county were anywhere near being a parent, but, just the opposite. To me, the teachers treat the kids as little adults who are expected to all be the same. Not to say, that I don't think there are good teachers in the system. BUT, they do get paid to TEACH. That is their job for which they are educated and hired. I did not go to college to teach my children educational curriculum. I went for health care. Yet, it seems I have to do a vast majority of it at home every night. Teachers should be an example of morals, respect, and manners. And, yes, to a certain degree they DO have to help teach those same things in dealing with young people. But, ideally, it should be taught at home or church. They have to have parents that teach it first. Seems here in Cannon sports does play a large part in the school system, but it should NOT come first. Sports is only a extra for those who like them. The majority do not play sports. There are not many professional athletes out there from Cannon county no matter how good they are in school. The county board, and board of education better get their heads out of the sand and face reality. Where's all this wheel tax money?? When I moved here it was voted in to be 50.00 per auto to make these schools SO MUCH BETTER! Why are they worse?? I would pay 20 cents more property tax if it helps my son in the long run. But, if it is like the wheel tax, it might not go too much for education.
July 24, 2011 at 9:22pm
I will make this point only once. This discussion is and should not be about athletics. However, it seems the majority of you want to spin it that way.

In this school system, we have no wrestling, track and field, women's golf, middle school volleyball, bball, etc. We still lack a baseball and tennis facility at our own school campus. CCHS gets 10% of all gate as well as the concessions at 90% of CCHS basketball games.

With those simple examples out there, at what point do people still insist on this opinion that "sports does play a large part in this school system"? Its called Title 9. Children are to be provided equal opportunity.

Yes Title 9 is more complex than that, but athletics does not lay a burden on this school system. Buses must be provided for the away competitions. Guess what? Same goes for ALL other clubs w/in the system.
Who is out there actually saying we SHOULD Whats next, rid kids of the opportunities to compete at carpentry, agruculture, or BETA competitions?

If your opion is to do this, then that is ok. But please understand if this would happen, our "school system" would go from being 10 years behind the times to 50 years behind.

Again, academics first! However, we have a vast majority of our children here (unfortunately) who would be hard-pressed to get a trip outside of this county w/out these opportunities.
July 24, 2011 at 11:19pm
Make the hard choices and we will begin to solve the problem. Until then we are simply blowing smoke in the wind because of tradition and sentiment.

We can't have it all without some form of tax increase or spending cuts to reduce the deficit. Even with a 20 cent increase this year to offset the shortfall there is nothing in place to plan for next year when we face even more cuts.

This is not about sports or education in my opinion. This is about the idea of wasting millions of dollars every year for something everyone knows is doomed to extinction.

I want you all to know I am very much in favor of the schools getting as much as possible, so don't take this the wrong way.

However, anytime the school budget is increased, you can NEVER take that money back. It always has to remain the same from that point forward.

The schools are required by state law to keep a certain percentage of their budget in reserves. That money has to come from somewhere. So we give them a 4 cent increase this year and we solve a budget shortfall for this school term. What happens next year when there is another budget shortfall? Do we give them another 4 or 5 cents?

We continue to sink approximately $800,000 a year in schools that have less than 150 students K-8 in them and then force the school board to go begging to the County Commissioners for more money each year.

Someone please explain the logic behind that to me because I just cannot see any. This problem is only going to continue and get worse if we ignore the obvious solutions.
July 25, 2011 at 8:16am
It seems that many here are actually on the same page... So if the contention is not based on sports... What is the topic we should be focusing on? I am curious if more can be said on the Wheel Tax and how those funds were effectively spent?
July 25, 2011 at 9:06am
Jeff I think the topic should be based on how many actual grammar schools do we need to accomplish the same level of education we currently give our students.

If we have schools that can be combined and money saved to alleviate the budget shortfall then why wouldn't we put that solution on the table instead of ignoring it?

We are talking about cutting programs, teacher positions and possibly doubling up teacher classrooms and ignoring what we can do to solve it.

If each school costs approximately $800,000 to keep open each year and we combine two of them and then subtract $300,000 for miscellaneous expenses due to the combination (and I think that is high) then we would save $500,000 in one year and every other year after that.

Does that not help? Would that idea not be feasible? Would that not be more financially responsible to do that instead of cutting jobs and doubling up class rooms?

I know I have beat this dead horse to death, but for the life of me I cannot understand why sentiment and tradition is leading our thought process into certain failure when logic tells us otherwise.

We will absolutely, positively, without a doubt be back in this same position next year when the budget comes back up for review.

Can we not take a moment and for once look beyond today and plan for tomorrow?
July 25, 2011 at 9:35am
i didn't read through all of your comments, but...question - where is the wheel tax going? was this not supposed to go to the schools? raise property tax or whatever needs to be done and do it now! we have good schools and teachers here - do you want our teachers going somewhere else because they can make more money? NO!!! do not let the education of my child and many other children suffer because you all can't come to a decision!
July 25, 2011 at 10:41am
Corey... Are there other options? I can think of a million reasons why I am not partial to the idea of combining schools... It should not be a matter of closing schools but rather using monies wisely... Again... I ask..... What of the WHEEL TAX?
July 25, 2011 at 10:54am
Money collected from the wheel tax goes directly into debt service to pay the debt incurred by the construction of the high school. Once that debt is paid, and I am told that will occur in about 8-10 years, the wheel tax will revert back to $10.
July 25, 2011 at 11:55am
Jeff would like to hear just a few of the million reasons NOT to combine grammar schools!
July 25, 2011 at 1:28pm
To lucydog...

Well I am not going to go long winded here but... It's horrible on the kids... It really is. Transportation alone could place a damper on this logistics nightmare...

I have to be fair for the sake of argument and say if it's JUST about the money, then I suppose your premise might work... I feel that it is a draconian hardship to solve a problem. Schools are part of a community and your suggestion excises a part of a local established school... How do people feel about moving their children to another school after the kids have been there for some time? I want another option.
July 25, 2011 at 3:25pm
Well Jeff, I think if we look at what has been said in this article and in others it is quite evident that we are out of options other than raising the property taxes 20 cents this year and who knows what in subsequent years to come.

Schools are a black hole when it comes to money. When money enters the school budget it never escapes again.

As I said before, to solve the problem we will have to make tough choices and one of those choices should be to consolidate schools and stop wasting that money.

It just isn't feasible to continue to sink millions of dollars into six grammar schools with a population that Cannon County has and the amount of revenue we have coming in to pay for them.

I am sorry if that offends anyone or makes them mad, but common sense should prevail and not sentiment and tradition.

And Jeff, I don't buy the transportation issue at all because once those students in grammar school enter High School they all have to be transported in one manner or another. It is a moot point to say it is a problem when they are in grammar school but not in High School.

No offense to you intended, but that is a weak argument to justify $800,000 a year to keep a school open.
July 25, 2011 at 6:12pm
Then close the schools? Just close them and consolidate? Save money? The system will be far less than what it is now by doing and we will look all pretty in black ink.

I am not offended by your comments but really...

This is the only solution? Make one giant county-wide school and farm everyone in? The high schools do this? Everyone goes to one place?

I never did get any comment about how this might be a detriment to the students. So it's not?

The problem with solving things simply by using the standard of measurement solely monetary you don't get the full situation satisfied... Just paid off.

What do we have after following your suggestion??

Are you saying this is a positive solution? I am not so sure... I still think this is an extreme measure...
July 25, 2011 at 6:53pm
My only question-Name one famous athlete that played any kind of ball in Cannon County. My point exactly!!
July 25, 2011 at 7:05pm
What does "fame" have to do with anything? Name one "famous" person who did any kind of anything in Cannon County?
July 26, 2011 at 6:49am
Jeff I do appreciate the dialog back and forth because it allows me to learn from what others think.

I want you to know I am extremely vested in the school system. I have two children still in school with at least eight more years to go. I value the schools, the students and the teachers very much. I have one son who is in college who hopes to become a teacher. I have always said that teaching school is something you do because you love it vs. something you do to make money from.

I want you to know that I base my opinions on what I know to be fact and nothing that I pull from thin air. I have looked at this problem longer than most people realize from as many different angles as I could think of.

Here is what I know to be true:
1. The population of Cannon County is 13,801 according to the 2010 census.
2. We have six grammar schools and one High School operating and surviving on an approximate 14 million dollar a year budget.
3. Each school needs approximately $800,000 for each school term to keep the doors open (stated in the school board meetings by Barbara Parker).
4. Three of the grammar schools have LESS than 160 students K-8 per school.

Now having said all of that, I come to these conclusions.
1. The population of Cannon County cannot continue to support six grammar schools based on the tax revenue we generate each year.
2. If you take $800,000 and divide it by 160 students then we are in essence saying we are providing a $5000 per child education each year to three of our six grammar schools. Does anyone actually believe that to be true?
3. To continue to pay for our current system we will have to raise property taxes, the Wheel Tax or the Sales Tax. Two of the three would go before the voters of Cannon County.
4. This problem is not going away. It will only continue to get worse. So we have three choices in my opinion.
1. Continue to raise taxes each year to maintain what we currently have and never improve it.
2. Cut services, teachers, educational programs, etc. to the point that we can maintain it without tax increase.
3. Combine schools, save money, prevent doubling up on classrooms, and plan toward a better system in the future.

If you or anyone else out there who reads this can tell me of another option then my ears are wide open to listen, because logically I see nothing else.

I want what is best for all and I am willing to sacrifice if it becomes necessary for me to do so. When we begin to make the hard choices then we will begin to solve our problem.

I would welcome feedback.
July 26, 2011 at 2:22pm
Just some more information to ponder as well when we consider continuing to fund six grammar schools and ask for a 20 cent property tax increase.

All of this information comes from the T.E.A. Tennessee School Systems Profile Rankings for Cannon County 2009/2010.

Cannon County is tied for 27th out of 135 school systems at $4,930 spent per student.

Cannon County is 69th out of 134 school systems for the salary for the Director of Schools at $95,178 per year.

Entry level for a step 1 teacher with a BA in Cannon County is $30,223.

Cannon County spends 37% of its total tax rate toward schools.

Cannon County is 35th out of 95 counties in Tennessee with a $2.32 tax rate. With a 20 cent increase we will jump up to 24th out of 95 counties.

I would appreciate anyone who can educate me on how we can continue this trend without increasing our taxes each year to astronomical rates.

July 26, 2011 at 7:34pm
@Kevin Halpern, "fame" doesn't have ANYTHING to do with it! I was just making a point about the whole sports thing. It seems like sports are the only thing we can seem to concentrate on here in Cannon County. We JUST HAVE to have basketball, baseball, golf, soccer, etc., but we can't have Driver's Ed! Something that would help students, not to mention their parent's insurance! I agree with Corey though. I think we DO need to combine schools. That's just my opinion though.....
July 27, 2011 at 10:46am
Corey... I want you to know that I enjoy the discourse. I also appreciate your candor and reasoning. That being said, nothing you have provided here in your last comment is any different than what you previously posted. If you re-read my last comment you can see I am viewing this situation differently than you. You are speaking only of dollars and every choice you wish to make is determined by that and that alone. I don't see the world that way... This is not a math problem for me. You have this idea that if there is only 160 students in a grammar school - That's just too much or worthy of consolidation! Merge! It's simply not that simple... I am not so sure that raising a tax for the betterment of the school system means a continuation of the status quo... That is a supposition yet to be determined... I also do not agree with the idea that the quality of the service provided within a school system would benefit or induce a better effective performance by combining schools... I do not think a school with a mere 160 students should be trivialized... Another thing to consider... Should the quality of the education and social benefits for the students from the county wide school system be sacrificed on the budget alter? I would give a bit to keep that going... Would others? The observation I am making is not based on changes that need to be made to the system itself... Just that there is no money... Your way of thinking would not Induce me to want to have my children in this school system... I do appreciate your investment in the school and that your children were a part of that. I was in the educational profession for many years as well... I have been the recipient of the double-session, doubling up of students and classes and movement as you would suggest and it was a horrible experience... My take is not too supportive as I can attest to the frustration and challenge... Don't be too hard on me for not agreeing with your premise...

There are other ways.. Other options... I am sure of it...
July 27, 2011 at 5:59pm
Jeff I won't be too hard on you for not agreeing with me, I am used to the idea of people not wanting to let go of a system that is outdated but full of sentiment and tradition. I always respect differences of opinion when they are presented in this manner.

My opinion is not entirely based solely on math or finances. It is also based on the idea that if the schools continue this course one of the solutions for lack of money is to double up on classes, not re-hire teachers and to cut services.

You ask what would be detriment to the students, I think that answers the question. When more cuts are made to maintain the system (six grammar schools)we have then something has to give at some point.

According to the TEA website we spend $4930 per student in Cannon County. As I have asked before do you really believe we give them a $4930 education each year?

What I am proposing is to combine two schools with a savings of approximately $800,000 a year. I am not suggesting making one mass school building.

Two schools with less than 160 students K-8 combined to make the size of WGS, Westside and Woodland.

Why is that so unrealistic? If it is working at three other schools do you have so little faith in our students and teachers that we can't make it work for one more?

We have the school available, we have the students available and we have the teachers available to solve this problem.

What could possibly be the logical explination to not fix it when we know how?

If we did this and saved that money and re-invested it back into the system there are many ways to help our students socially and educationally in my opinion.

Your feedback is welcome!
July 30, 2011 at 8:34pm
@Corey, please run for County Executive in the next election!! You will have one vote here!!
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