Saturday, January 10, 2009

More on the Fayette County School Board...

I wrote a blog a few days ago (Fayette County, GA schools in the news... ) about the situation in the Fayette County school system. The School Board is trying to maintain the school system at its current level of service while money is dwindling. It's easy to sit on the outside and point fingers when we're not part of the internal process. I have concerns like most in the county, which I voiced in my blog so I won't repeat myself.

I asked for suggestions on what the School Board should do, what should be cut. We posted the request for ideas on the top of the Fayette Front Page, too.

I've received a number of replies, only one of them offered any suggestions for where cuts should be made. They all trashed the School Board. We chose not to publish any of the nasty comments, it's just not our style. We'll still take positive suggestions, though.

The one we included on here (Dire Straights for Fayette County Students) didn't offer any suggestions on where to cut, but the author made an interesting suggestion that parents be able to write off all the things they purchased for students on their taxes.

I thought that one was a pretty good idea. We're all being taxed to pay for the schools. Why shouldn't parents be able to write off what they "donate" to help the school system provide good education?

I've heard outrageous costs are dumped into a parent's lap if they want their child to play football, be a cheerleader or participate in many school sanctioned or run efforts. What about the cost of the band instrument? What about all the school supplies parents buy for not just their own child, but their classmates?

I don't have any young children in Fayette County schools so I can't really remember all the various things that required an additional outlay of cash. I sold plenty, and bought plenty, of wrapping paper and junky things to friends that I sure wouldn't purchase if it weren't to "help" buy extras for the schools. I'm still buying stuff from friends to help their children.

Have you ever thought about how much money is being fed to the school system outside of our taxes? I heard it's something like $600 if your child is chosen as a cheerleader...

Schools are big business. Someone told me they considered it the biggest industry in the United States the other day. It's true. It's the biggest outlay of cash for parents and non-parents alike.

In Fayette County we're lucky. We have a great school system and I know the Board is fighting within the system they've inherited to keep it that way. I know they're suffering from HUGE cuts from the State, property taxes are down, and other taxes are also down as we all hold onto our pocketbooks.

They're being bombarded from all sides.

Parents expect the same levels of service, yet the money isn't there to maintain those levels.

I don't know what the answer is on that front. But I do think having a tax write-off for parents who expend extra dollars for students is a good idea.

No comments: