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Letter to the editor...Price for education
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Dear Editor: Over the last few weeks, I have been reading the local news about the price of education in Newton County. The stories that I have read go a little like this: county schools facing $9.7 million FY2011 budget deficit, planning cuts for staff and faculty members, officials have already determined who will be cut.

It is sad to think that the education of our children is less important than the current salary that was given to the new BOE superintendent Gary Mathews.

According to the current news he has been given a three-year contract at $159,400 per year. (The article also stated he wasted no time in signing this contact and getting it back to the NCSS).

If you want to talk cutting back and containing a strong budget then maybe take a look at the BOE salaries; come on, a $159,400/year salary! This could be divided to pay the salary of two teachers and Dr. Matthews. There are small business owners who don't make this type of money.

In a strong economy, a salary such as this may be accepted, but in times like this we need to rethink this type of salary. I am not against people making money; I am against at the price it is costing the children of this county.

I also understand that there are federal grants that we can apply for, but our school system refuses to apply. It has been said that we are sitting on a $10 million dollar surplus that we refuse to use, and that our teachers are some of the highest paid in the Southeast.

How is it that you can justify this type of pay and have to cut back on facility staff, who make $20,000-$25,000 a year?

I don't know how much truth is in the rumor (none, I hope) but I have heard that they are planning on cutting middle school sports; if this is true ,then be prepared for your high school programs to suffer as well. No athletes feeding into the program equals nobody coming to the games, equals a loss of more money. Think about it long and hard before you cut out sports and the arts programs. This can also hurt the college-level sport programs in our state as well.

Let's hope that this does not happen because these are important items within our school system.

Government complains about the quality of education our children receive, but in the same breath cut away the programs.

I am not a fan of Mr. Obama, but I agree with his statement it is time for a change, but not at the expense of our children.