Letter: School funding issue motivated by politics
The recent use of $400,000 in surplus money to make up a deficit in teachers’ salaries by the Gloucester School Board is being presented by some of the Gloucester supervisors as the reason for considering control of specified categories in the school department’s budget. The use of the $400,000 has nothing to do with control by the supervisors of categories in the school budget.
Objections to use of surplus money by the school board must be dealt with by having the supervisors and their financial officers carefully follow the overall spending of school monies. That should be the goal of the board of supervisors in matters of this nature.
The question of control by the supervisors of the school department’s budget by categories is a horse of another color. It represents an unadvised intrusion into operation of the school system. The supervisors do not need to resort to micromanagement of the schools’ budget in order to look after the taxpayers’ money. They must focus carefully on their responsibilities without diverting into actions that may be deemed to be truly political.
How are the supervisors going to keep track of school expenditures by categories? Not only would they have to hire additional help to accomplish that, but it would interfere with the smooth functioning of the schools’ machinery.
Supervisors Crewe, Ressler and Woodard have wanted to do this since they joined the board and we know that it was their intention to hurt the school board and school administration. We cannot expect them to change their mind. However, we hope that supervisor Northstein will ponder the issue carefully and not precipitate a divisive clash between the board of supervisors and the school board.
Gloucester Point, Va.