Jim Sides Weighs in on the School Board’s Redistricting Plan, the Woodleaf/Cleveland Consolidation, and on School Construction

Posted on May 1, 2016

Jim Sides, Salisbury, N.C.

♦ If the school board exists to serve the children and the citizens of the communities of Rowan County, why does it not give the citizens what they want? If $26,000,000 is available for building a consolidated Woodleaf/Cleveland elementary school, how far would that much money go to resolve any and all issues with the two existing schools? Then, no children are affected negatively, no parents have to change their schedules, no longer bus rides, no safety issues due to site location, the communities remain intact, and everyone is happy, except those with other ideas.

If the citizens would rather have THEIR money spent to update and improve the two schools where they are, why is that such a bad idea? If the “county” only gives the school system $2,000,000 per year for capital improvements, where did the $6,500,000 used on the new central office come from? Where does the more than $7,000,000 per year in debt service payments for past capital projects come from? If the county did not have to pony up millions upon millions of tax dollars for current expenses for the schools, more money would be available for capital needs. None of this is the “county’s” money, nor is it the “school board’s” money. All this money belongs to the taxpayers of Rowan County.

Rowan County taxpayers pay more for education today than they ever have in the past and we have less and less students in the system. I still believe the mall purchase gets you more bang for the buck than what is being spent on education in Rowan County.

One last thought: the Board of Education should be just that–a Board of Education, concerned with the education of the students in our schools. School construction should be a function of the Board of County Commissioners and completely out of the hands of the Board of Education.

Posted in: Articles