Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bibb schools' taxing power targeted

This was a headline on page 1A of my copy of "The Telegraph" this morning.  The sub heading was:  "Sen. Staton's proposed legislation would require budget approval by local government."

The article then went on to give a history of the taxing authority for the Bibb School System.  Some of my readers here may recall that when I ran for Bibb County Commission in the late 1990s and early 2000s I proposed that the Bibb County School System be allowed to set their own tax rates.  My concern at that time, and it still is:  "Why have two levels of government involved in the tax structure to support Public Education?"  If the school board messes up it will be easier to vote them out of office and solve the problem.  Having the School Board under the control of another level of government would then require the voting out of office of two levels of "leadership."  If the School Board is incompetent - vote them out of office!!!   Sounds simple enough to me.  For those who are concerned about the spending/financial situation currently surrounding our Bibb School System I would suggest that when they go bankrupt that just maybe our electorate will wise up and replace the school board.  Until the electors realize what needs to be done, putting another level of management into play to "control" our current School Board will only allow them to continue in their current mode of operation.

I really feel that the electorate voted for the current school board with the correct motivation.  I recall several candidates stating that they were running to improve education for the children.  In fact the usual statement was:  "It is all about the Children." 

Admittedly the current School Board most likely has been misled by the current Superintendent; so what controls will be put into place with two levels of management that will eliminate what is often viewed locally as an abuse of power by the current superintendent.

Now to be fair for those who are new to this community, I did run for the Bibb School Board for an at large post several years ago.  As stated in the opening of this post I also ran for a seat on the Bibb County Commission twice.  I state this here so that no one can say that I have neglected with my civic responsibilities as a citizen of Bibb County.

While the proposal to restrict the Bibb County School Board Taxing Authority may now appear to be prudent I would suggest that for the long term it may be folly.  As discussed in the early 2000s, Bibb County was the only system in Georgia that had two levels of management for the local school system.  What a shame that it now appears that we have to revert to our former ways to simply control the spending of our current school board.

While it will be painful, I would suggest that we let the those serving on our current school board suffer the consequences of their own actions.  Until we do we will be enabling them to the point that for the long term  Bibb County will always be viewed as the most backward County in the State of Georgia.  Our current students and our future Scholars certainly deserve better!!!!

In summary, short term solutions for a problem may not be in the best interest of those who are interested in the long term resolution of any problem.  In this case it is the Bibb County School Board.  "We Can Do Better!!!! and I am sure many of you will remember that campaign slogan.

We need to start thinking about the "Big Picture" versus the "Short Term Solution" to a serious problem.

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