2017-11-08 / Letters

County schools worthy of praise, funding

It is fundraising time already for many Chesterfield County schools. As I leaf through the latest catalog of items sent home to solicit orders to help raise money, I cannot help but be impressed.

It is not the wrapping paper and cookies, it is the schools themselves that impress me. I am impressed that Chesterfield’s schools can accomplish so mu h, achieve such a high standard of education, and perform so well when they are so underfunded that they need to sell cookies and wrapping paper to make ends meet

Chesterfield has some of the top schools in the state despite the fact that it has one of the lowest per-pupil spending rates. Every year, we as a community come together as PTAs and PTSAs to raise funds to provide technology, equipment, training, and even printer ink that somehow fell off the books when the budgets were written. We fill the gap, out of pocket!

What happens when parent’s pockets are not so deep? Have a look at the less well-off parts of the county. As the economy goes, the school performance follows. This is not a failure of the schools, it is a failure of funding! Key resources are left out when the families of that school cannot pitch in and cover the cost!

It seems like there are a new set of unfunded mandates pushed down from the federal and state governments regarding testing and programs. These are constantly draining the depleted resources our educators have to pull from. Educators are left scrambling to find a way to afford supplies, sometimes out of their own pockets, or meet new standards often in conflict with each other, or hit testing goals while being admonished for teaching to the test. A cynical observer might conclude that there was an effort to sabotage public education.

We have an amazing group of educators and faculty in this county dedicated to the well-being and future of our children. Just imagine what they could accomplish if they were fully funded and free to let teachers teach!

Michael Karabinos

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