Letter: Think outside the box for education funding

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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
Mills River

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.

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8 thoughts on “Letter: Think outside the box for education funding

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Get your children OUT of government screwls as FAST as you CAN!

    NCAE is NC’s biggest ENEMY within. Evil EVIL people run that show …

  2. Mark W.

    Your heart is in the right place, but education shouldn’t be left for charity. It’s a public good. Elected leaders at all levels of government need to stop racing to the bottom to lick the boots of the wealthy in the hopes they’ll keep a few useful locals around and profit from their labor. Developers and landlords should be winning your contests regularly, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because the people and their representatives demand it. Public education is a necessity, not a luxury to be had by the whims of those who make their living by owning things.

  3. Mike

    Asheville public schools were pretty good about 55 years ago. By the time I finished 10th grade, I’d completed 3 years of Latin, 2 years of Algebra, and 1 year of French and Geometry and I went on to earn a PhD in Math at UNC. There are multiple factors leading to the poor performance of today’s students but raising teacher pay even to the level of the poorly performing Washington DC system is not going to fix anything.

  4. C-Law

    Institutionalized racism, achievement gap, reparations now! 2nd verse, same as the 1st!

    ha!

    Asheville has gotten EXACTLY the GOVERNMENT it DESERVES!! :)

  5. Enlightened Enigma

    Over $16,000 per head per year in AVL city screwls! How much more money do you NEED ???? wtf? What we need is consolidation of both systems into one for equity and inclusion and cost savings!

  6. Bright

    Outside the box? Lol…better take em outside the state! Hell…unschool your kids if you give a damn about them. Don’t let your kids be victims. Find another way.

  7. Stan Hawkins

    It is very telling that the typical default metric used to account for less than satisfactory educational achievement is “money.” After 30-50 years of singing this same song, one wonders who exactly is in more need of education- our beloved gurus of public education or the students?

    Why do we not hear about other metrics from those willing to keep throwing more money at this problem? As I am no expert in the matter, surely there are other metrics to consider that do not involve money?

    • Lulz

      Because those in charge have never held a real job. You get in government because you’re a loser. Not because you have abilities.

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