On funding Prince Edward’s public schools

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, April 26, 2016


This past Tuesday was the second Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors budget public hearing that I have attended.

Just as last year, parents, teachers, school board members, school supervision and students from the school were out in force, filling the meeting chamber. They immediately went to fear mongering that if supervisors didn’t “fully fund” the schools that many cherished programs would be lost.

Email newsletter signup

I’m intrigued as to what they mean by “fully funded” as everybody knows budgets fluctuate and when you overspend and money is tight, you must tighten your belt to get through a budget crisis, just as the county has done.

The citizens of Prince Edward are not an endless supply of money. If you are so inclined to spread your wealth, simply write a check and on the memo space write “for PE schools.” Free-will giving is preferable to taxpayer plunder anyway. Both years, school supervision, school board members and faculty have paraded their top-performing students before the board, using them as pawns to beguile the supervisors into giving more money, without offering a line-item budget nor giving logical, real, mathematical reasons of need for more money.

The Code of Virginia stipulates that a line-item school budget will be available both online and printed to all requesting it. So far, the school division has only offered a three-page outline. What are they hiding?

I, for one, think this is despicable child abuse, using innocent children for nefarious purposes of conning taxpayers out of their hard-earned money. I am not anti-education. I don’t think our children are getting a proper education, but I am against a disingenuous school system.

Richard Altice