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12-Year-Old Herald Reader Responds To Editorials, PE Supervisors Vote

Editor, The Herald:

I would first like to thank you for taking the time to write the editorial about how I can change this community. It means more than you can imagine for me, a 12-year-old seventh grader, to be personally acknowledged in the Herald, for thousands of people to read. I feel so special knowing that people like you will take the time to let me know just how extraordinary I can be. Second, I would like to address the school budget. Dr. Smith, the school Superintendent, met with my mom and gave her a packet of papers containing items such as local and per pupil funding.

Looking at the sources of PECPS money, 31.11% of it comes from the local area, while 43.25% comes from the state. The problem that I've heard the Board of Supervisors discuss is that we aren't getting enough state funds. I agree with that. Ever since a Republican came to the state office, funds for education have decreased. If only we weren't building the new alternate route 628, over a million dollars could be spent on things like keeping amazing teachers like Mrs. Clark-Reed (7th Grade Life Science) and Mr. Chirila (7th and 8th Grade Algebra 1 and Geometry). It would particularly bother me, and my fellow band students, if we only had one band teacher. Many of us would like to join the marching band, or a guitar class when we get to the high school, but none of that will happen if one of the directors is cut.

I especially enjoyed reading Mr. Woodley's editorial about how the Board of Supervisors is ignoring what we told them. They most certainly ignored our requests and didn't add a single penny to the budget. They should have really listened and added all they possibly could to the school budget. At one of the recent Board meetings, Supervisor Simpson said that our schools will be “just fine” without the programs that are being cut. Why are we not interested in strengthening our school system?

Recently, I was in gym class on the middle school baseball field. I looked over the green grass and saw bulldozers and dump trucks clearing the land for the convention center. Is this something we actually need? I realize this would bring in money and help the county, but do we need a hotel? No. We have more than plenty hotels. Do we need a place to hold conferences? No. Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College should be just fine. I realize that, supposedly, not a single cent of our money is going to the convention center, and we're only paying for a minimal amount of the road, but I believe more than enough money is being wasted either way. What we really need is a way to spend our money correctly and purposefully, not like a child with $300 in a Toys-R-Us.

Isabelle Edwards

Prince Edward