Stop taxing and spending

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Ever since voters soundly defeated Aiken County’s bond referendum two years ago, the school board has steadily added wasteful spending items to show everyone how smart they are.

The rejected bond included a natatorium for North Augusta High School, but now we are getting a football field house for Aiken High School instead. With the assistance of the local press, more money was wasted as area superintendents were made academic officers resulting in no financial savings. The move was praised as efficient and necessary by the local media, even though the district remains on an academic improvement plan per the No Child Left Behind law.

This improvement plan’s status seems to be a well-kept secret. Our district remains top-heavy with administration, yet the new budget calls for a 5 percent pay increase for administrators while teachers still lack basic resources to teach. The move to close area offices resulted in no loss of personnel or pay reductions; rather, job titles were changed. A district on a mandated academic improvement plan shouldn’t be spending money on anything except for instruction.

The proposed budget is $440,000 short, and this includes a tax increase and adds additional non-teaching personnel. It appears the computer system is about a decade out of date, and now monies have to be spent whether they are available or not. There is no reason to be optimistic that the local economy will improve, yet our school board continues to tax and spend as if they have a printing press for money.

No one seems to care and no worthy candidates will run against current board members in November. Aiken County continues to market itself as a haven for retirees, but they have no interest in quality schools, just low taxes. Meanwhile, Saluda County prospers as David Mathis leads their schools to prosperity, while ours continue to decline. Didn’t Dr. Mathis once work in Aiken County?

Prepare for increased taxes, lower test scores and more wasteful spending. There is no reason to believe otherwise.

Robert Snell

Aiken, S.C.

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Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/31/12 - 06:34 am
5
3

Thank God for the South

Thank God for the South Carolina school system. Without them Georgians wouldn't be able to alternate the bottom rankings.

Sorry Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and a couple of the others here in Dixie. But you do manage to keep it in the low 40's. Keep up the effort and maybe one day you too can be last.

OOOOOH, I'm gonna catch hell today.

southernguy08
415
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southernguy08 05/31/12 - 06:58 am
0
0

AGREED, RETIRED

Unpublished

Bet you thought you'd never hear that from me. GA's & SC's poor school rankings are just more evidence that we need to TOTALLY overhaul our educational system, including, yes, SCHOOL VOUCHERS! OOOOOH, I'm gonna catch hell for that!

JRC2024
6955
Points
JRC2024 05/31/12 - 08:38 am
3
0

RA, you sure are right on

RA, you sure are right on this one. As long as we have people (not parents) who do not care about the education of THEIR children and children having children we will continue to have lower scores. All the entitlement spending will not help those that do not care and we will continue to rank lower than alot of other school systems. I just had a converstation with a teacher at Diamond Lakes who was telling me about a young woman with 6 children, on welfare and different fathers. These are the types that bring our school system down. Sad but true.

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/31/12 - 09:06 am
3
3

Also, as long as GA and SC

Unpublished

Also, as long as GA and SC allow EVERYONE to take the SAT, instead of other states who only let those in College Prep classes take it, our scores will be lower.

allhans
21945
Points
allhans 05/31/12 - 09:30 am
3
0

Schools in the south have

Schools in the south have been a joke for years.

Nothing new here.

dichotomy
26643
Points
dichotomy 05/31/12 - 10:17 am
8
2

Well, we are pretty much to

Well, we are pretty much to the point where our school boards and administrators set the "goals" for next year to the failing scores of last year + 1. Nobody is willing to do the simple things that it will take to turn it around. Enforce discipline, expel disruptive students, and fire underperforming teachers. Every new superintendent and every school board candidate always says they have the answer and it only needs more money......and for 40 years none of it has worked. What worked is what we did long ago. Strict discipline. Strict qualifications to be a teacher. Strict performance standards to remain a teacher. Strict standards to pass to the next grade. And strict standards to graduate....and no "I was there too" certificates. If you are not going to do the things that were proven to work for 200 years then you might as well find a tall building, pee into the wind, and throw your money up in the air. Lowering the standards to accomodate under performing students and under qualified and yes, even UNqualified, teachers is a failed policy. Everyone knows what's wrong and nobody has the courage to do anything about it.

Since no one will stand up and address the real problems, things have no chance of getting better. We might as well quit feeding the beast because when you are at the bottom things can't get much worse.

Before retiring I worked where I was exposed to many of the teachers from our local schools. Just as an observation, admittedly with no evidence, my guess is that 60% of our local teachers could not pass the final exams I was required to take in high school. Many could not even speak the language properly and with correct grammar. That, and the total lack of discipline in our classrooms, are the two fundatmental problems with our schools and neither can be corrected with "mo money".

There are only two things that go into educating kids. Discipline in the classroom and qualified teachers. We have none of the first and very few of the second. I am sure this will offend someone and Sean will be pulling it and either sending me a nasty note or banning me, but I don't care. It's the truth and you all know it.

avidreader
2613
Points
avidreader 05/31/12 - 10:41 am
6
2

Dichotomy, Hooray!

Your number, 60%, for ineffective teachers might be a bit high; however, I get it. You're not far off base. Bleeding Hearts are controlling our school systems, and the days of the three-holed paddle are gone. The boards-of-education are stacked with do-gooders and numbers-crunchers. The MOST important job in the school system is the Principal. As the captain goes, so goes the ship. However, I have met some Principals with no savvy and the vocabulary of a newt.

Leaders must lead, and if they are constantly ridiculed for "good management" policies, then ineffective teachers and slack disciplinary standards will continue to remain the norm.

And God help us; when are children going to stop birthing children?

Jane18
12331
Points
Jane18 05/31/12 - 11:22 am
4
0

Not just S.C. and Ga.

You are correct dichotomy! But, the problem is not just here in our 2 states, we have a national problem. No sense in us going through what needs to be done in the schools, until there are people that will "get back" to the process of really educating. Until then, we are just "peeing" in the wind(as my Daddy use to say).

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/31/12 - 12:42 pm
6
1

No child left behind is an

Unpublished

No child left behind is an unmitigated failure. The very concept is flawed because SOME children SHOULD be left behind. The only other option would be to bring all of the other children down to the slowest child's level. What a great, "feel good" way to administer education.

harley_52
19524
Points
harley_52 05/31/12 - 01:17 pm
4
1

Very well said, dichotomy. I

Very well said, dichotomy. I couldn't agree more.

debbiep38
316
Points
debbiep38 05/31/12 - 05:58 pm
0
0

RA, I rarely agree with your

Unpublished

RA, I rarely agree with your posts but that was a good one. Per your last comment though, you seem to relish the attention.

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