Letter: Third side

August 27, 2013

To the editor:

From reading various newspaper articles and listening to numerous radio programs, it appears as if the number one topic in our State is: education funding in the latest budget. There is an old saying: There are three sides of every story – your side, my side and the truth. It seems as if everyone has their own version of the NC educational budget.

The Laurinburg Exchange had an article on the Scotland County Schools had to reduce teacher assistants and other personnel. According to this article the reduction this year in State funding is $955,000. I found it interesting that according to this article, 44 percent ($427,000) of this reduction was for teaching assistant salaries only in the second grade.

On another side to the educational budget, I heard a State Senator on the radio state that the K-12 NC budget increased by almost 5 percent ($361,407,582)! Yes an increase, not a reduction. The Senator was very proud the Legislature was able to increase the State’s education budget.

This Senator said the biggest problem with funding more money to education was Medicaid. It appears as if Medicaid is a big drain on our tax dollars. If Medicaid is sucking tax dollars, the Legislature’s solution appears to give more money to correct the problem. This is not a solution, just a band aid.

Why is Scotland County School System receiving a decrease of almost a million dollars and yet the State’s educational budget increase by 361 million dollars? Did the other school districts receive an increase? Who are we to believe?

We were told that Scotland County Schools “Lost over $12 million in the past five years in support from the state”. From this comment, it appears as if this has been an on- going problem with our County School System. Why is it we keep losing State educational money? Do you think there is another side to this story, or maybe we are not hearing the whole story?

Listening to the different explanations told by each side, it appears that we are not being told the whole truth. I would like to hear a non biased explanation giving all the facts. Is this possible? Let’s hear the third side.

Jim Johnston