Published 8:31 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003
System will have to look at cuts
As we all know by now, the county school system is facing a very difficult financial situation. While funds were short to begin with, the announcement by the state that funds will be cut another 5 percent and that Atmore will discontinue their 40-year-old tax to benefit the schools in that area will only make things worse.
The debate on ways to increase funding for the schools has started. School officials are hoping that an ad valorem or sales tax can help keep the system from making too many cuts.
But, whether a tax is implemented or not, it is obvious that the system will have to make some tough decisions. Even with new revenues, the system will likely have to tighten their belts just as they have since proration began two years ago.
Our education leaders have a tough test ahead of them. For they will have to decide what teacher stays and which one goes. They will have to decide which program will have to be cut. Extracurricular activities such as athletics, band, drama, chorus and other arts, while beneficial to students, are often the first to be affected.
In our view, school officials have done a good job of dealing with reduced funding and they have every right to ask the citizens of this county to help make up for the fall in revenues. While they have made many cuts so far, they should look at additional cuts with or without a new tax.