Our local teaching supplements are half the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system’s. Our area teachers are better than that. Our state’s per-pupil spending is hanging around the Mississippi, Alabama levels. Our kids are no better than theirs, but they are certainly worth more than this.
Our local teaching supplements and per-pupil spending are just another knock against our regional image. I enjoy the backhanded, “drowning in the cesspool” remarks. It’s funny. What is not funny: the undeniable truths hurting our community. Chicken pox outbreaks and the lack of educational funding are the two issues that currently keep me awake at night.
Local supplements can be significantly increased if we vote for it. Detractors will say that our communities are too poor to support this action. Just think where this current trend takes us 10 years from now. Twenty years. The middle class will fade away and leave us with what?
I know that our most financially challenged neighbors want what is right for their children. No one expects any added sacrifice from them. Let us, the middle class, do what we always do and hold this community up on our backs. It would be appreciated if our community leaders will publicly commit to donating to our public schools as well. The local elite can make the most significant push in raising educational supplements.
I will be first in line to eat at a restaurant that puts their money where their mouth is. Use those tourist dollars to give back to the schools. Plaster your support on every billboard and utility pole you can find. We have a lot of wealthy neighbors, through inheritance or capitalism, who could do the morally responsible thing and take care of this embarrassing issue. If we demand more from ourselves, then real change will return back to us two-fold.
Mountain Xpress: Will you please consider creating a new, and dare I say, meaningful competition between our local leaders and businesses? The top three winners can come from private and public sectors. Restaurant versus restaurant. Brewery versus brewery. Politician against politician.
Let’s title it: “Most funding raised for public education.”
— Jeff Bloomer
Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your passion and intriguing idea. Xpress has devoted significant resources and space to covering Asheville City Schools in recent months, including four articles (see “Hard Lessons: Asheville Government, Schools, Nonprofits Launch Effort to Address Achievement Gap,” in the March 27 issue), a commentary from a community member March 20 and a commentary from our news staff calling on the system to provide more information and transparency; ACS responded by posting five years of budget information on its website and fulfilling outstanding public information requests. Our mission is to promote dialogue and encourage our readers to see themselves as activists in building a better community. We look forward to continuing to report on ACS and community efforts to help the system achieve its goals.