Reinstate school budget cuts first

Since many writers have insisted in waving the Republican & Conservative flags when supporting a proposed reduction in the County property tax, let’s take a look at that for a moment.

There appears to be a great deal of misunderstanding as to what a conservative is and what they should do. Being a conservative, by definition, is marked by moderation or caution.

Union County Public Schools was forced to absorb 60 percent of the county budget cuts this year because we did not have the money. This was despite the fact that we had the pending hospital lease. That was a conservative response to the problem. We were not 100% sure the lease would be signed nor how much that would bring in, so to be conservative, and acting in a Republican way, we spent only what we knew we would have.

However, to then proceed with jumping immediately to a tax cut without considering the cuts made this year is foolhardy and irresponsible.

Are you happy with the current level of services offered by Union County?

The state is responsible for teacher salaries. However, every other UCPS employee is paid by the County.

Any responsible parent knows that while the teachers are the major cog in the engine of education, they are not doing it all alone. We lost many qualified teaching assistants this year due to these forced budget cuts and all areas of the school system realized a significant loss of support personnel. We need them back.

Based on current projections from the state, it is a very real possibility that we could lose all teacher assistants next year. If you think the teachers can do it without this support, you are sadly mistaken. Frankly, why should they have to?

We should want the very best for our children. Are we giving them that now? Are there any parents out there who honestly believe UCPS is as good as it possibly can be? “Good enough” should never be acceptable. They are doing a great job, no doubt, but we can and should be doing better. At the very least, we should reinstate the cuts implemented last year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a drop in tax rates. But we must first look at the big picture and look to our future and not shoot ourselves in the foot in the mistaken belief that is the “conservative” way. It is not.

The school system is growing not because of some crazy government conspiracy theory but because Union County has been growing massively over the last several years. We simply have a heck of a lot more kids now. We are facing a very real economic crisis in America today.  We should all strive to make Union County Public Schools the best it can be.

It is our job to give our children the best education we can provide so they have the tools to face that crisis.

Ken Skorupski

Unincorporated Union County

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