Duncan plays blame game, slams county board on funding cuts

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:fELflZAQC5Q5UM:http://www.greensboro.org/CH/people/images/GCS_Duncan.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. GCS Board chairman Alan Duncan last night got some digs in during his closing comments.

He openly criticized Guilford County Commissioners for slashing $3 million out of the school system’s last budget, which, he said, would have helped to pay for new anti-school violence prevention efforts.

Chairman Duncan also recognized the many public speakers who have crowded the GCS Board room over the past couple of months and said he wishes those same citizens could crowd the County Commissioners Board room and give that elected body the same amount of attention.

This is a prime example of what we’ve been talking a lot about lately.

This constant tension between the school board and the county board, and it is not healthy at all. We have school board members openly criticizing them, and vice-versa, county commissioners not trusting the school board…this has to stop. Maybe the mistrust is due to the county commissioners unhappy with where the money is going? I can understand that from a county commissioner standpoint if this is the case.

At the same time, I can understand the school board point of view that the county should be funding education as much as possible.

But from my vantage point, the entire state funding formula needs a complete overhaul, and I’ve discussed that here on many occasions.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.co.guilford.nc.us/images/commissioners/yow.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Turns out Billy Yow is my county commissioner; I plan on e-mailing him today (along with the others), and I will pose a couple of questions to them…namely, is it good practice for a school board chairman to openly criticize county commissioners for failing to fund priority projects…and, would they consider restoring the funding? If not, why not?

I’ll let you know if I receive any responses.

E.C. 🙂

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3 Responses

  1. Erik,

    First, what is a “anti-school violence prevention” program? What is involved in that program that it costs $3 Million? It seems that these people can’t do anything about anything without a lots of money. Perhaps, they could try actually disciplining students, and expulsion when warranted?

    Second, I disagree that the County Commissioners “should be funding education as much as possible”. That is a very vague and general statement. Public education should be funded to the extent that is needed for them to educate students. But, millions of the dollars that they receive often has nothing to do with education. It’s often used for social engineering.

    What should happen is that there should be an authority that reviews the district’s budget each year and culls out the non-education items, then determines the appropriate levbel of financing needed. We have seen that the school district, like the other local governments, pack pork into their budgets each year. So, “funding schools as much as possible” is not the right answer. I, as well as most taxpayers, feel that we should fund public education to the level necessary for students achieve a high level of education, but that’s not where we are in this county at this time. We are funding a mediocre level of education, and all we hear is that they could do a better job only if they had much more money. Well, more money is never the answer to getting better quality. It’s getting better results from the money that you have.

  2. Erik, the comments by Alan Duncan strike me as a “bait-and-switch.”

    Guilford County Schools has a real problem with school discipline. But rather than address the problem, Duncan & co. want to pass the buck over to the county commissioners. When the next big incident happens, Duncan has a ready-made excuse: “Well, we would’ve done something about this situation, but the county didn’t give us the money.”

    There may be areas where the schools legitimately need more money, but discipline isn’t one of them. This is all about having the will and courage to do the right thing. If the current school board isn’t willing to do that, perhaps some of their members need replacing.

  3. JS and Stormy make excellent points here. I’m all for line-item budgeting and I too would not oppose having the budget farmed out to a third party for a fresh set of eyes to make sure the pork is not included. Bait-and-switch tactics are indeed being used here as well, and when we start playing the blame game, it gets into very dangerous territory. When the board does not want to take responsibility anymore, it is time for new leadership. I keep saying 2008 is going to be the year of change on the school board.

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