I would like to encourage the Macon County Commission to consider fully funding the shortfall the Macon County School Board (MCSB) now faces. I do not know all the reasons the MCSB has found itself in a position to be $1.6 million short for FY 2013/14 but we should not play the blame game at this point. It appears the interim superintendent has done everything possible to make the MCSB work with the allotted funds but it simply will not work without additional funding. As a small business owner, I understand the importance of doing more with less and I do everything possible to manage my expenses in order to stay in business. I think the MCSB will need to better manage their expenses in the future, but the FY 2013/14 budget needs funding to avoid harm to the current delivery of education.
As a parent and an involved member of this community, I see education as one of the most critical components of our government system. Like many other citizens of this county, I do not want to pay any more taxes than necessary, but I do not want to risk the future of our children and the county by cutting education. I see education as one of the best economic development engines available to Macon County. As new businesses consider opening or transferring to Macon County, one of the first things they consider is our education system for their employees’ family. We need to show them we have a top notch education system; unfortunately, the best education is not always cheap. According to the NewsObserver.com, North Carolina ranked 45th in per pupil spending as of 2010 out of 50 states. The highest per pupil spending was in Chapel-Hill Carrboro at $11,167 and Durham at $9,679. It appears MCSB spends approximately $8,500 per student.
As the MCSB prepares to receive a new superintendent, I think he should be tasked with completing a complete review of the MCSB with a view toward operating the most efficient and effective school board in the state. By not funding the MCSB properly for the new superintendent in FY2013/14, you will put him at a distinct disadvantage with his new role.
Jerry Moore — Highlands, N.C.