Hats off to Frank Principi who tried to postpone a decision regarding the federal stimulus money until the next regularly scheduled BOCS meeting on September 14. That sounds like the right thing to do. However, that was not to be. As it stands now, pressed on by the urgings of CXO Melissa Peacor, stimulus funds will be considered during the next fiscal year.
In the first place, this was a mighty important decision to be decided on such short notice. 3 board members were absent: Caddigan, Jenkins and Stewart. The time line is fuzzy. Superintendent Walts wanted to begin hiring up to 180 new teachers. That’s understandable. He has a school system to run and that school system starts up Monday, August 30 with kids coming in the Tuesday after Labor Day. Walts doesn’t have time for the BOCS to grand stand and posture for their upcoming elections in 2011.
If there are strings attached to the stimulus money, then naturally the BOCS needs to be aware. If 3 of them aren’t there….there is a problem right from the git-go. It seems to me that the stimulus fund issue ought to be discussed during the Sept. 14 regular BOCS meeting. The School Board and the Board of Supervisors need to find a more effective way to communicate.
If PWC schools do not apply for or take the stimulus money, someone else will take it. The no new taxes crew would have us believe that saying no avoids our liability. That is simply not true. There are kids who need to be educated. Everyone knows that kids in a classroom of 35-40 simply isn’t the best practice.
How much did lobbying by the local Tea Party and their no new taxes or we dump you in the harbor mentality have to do with the decision to vote against the stimulus money?
How many BOCS members have children who either attend or have attended Prince William County Schools?
Why doesn’t the BOCS have the their considerations (ordinances, resolutions, etc) read before each vote is taken? I never know what they are voting on. The yeas and nays get confusing after all the discussion. Perhaps it should become policy that the consideration be read aloud before the final vote.
I was out of town and therefore could not view the meeting. Reading between the lines, it sounds like some supervisors were running scared of the tea party. Please tell me I am wrong. Overcrowding in classrooms will continue to get worse unless new teachers are hired. If Dr. Walts was going to hire 180 new teachers, that should be an indicator of how short handed things really are. I guess it doesn’t matter if your kids don’t go to public school anyway.
The matter should have been postponed until the September 14 meeting. To do anything else short-changes the students of Prince William County Schools.