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Our thoughts...Offer suggestions, then support
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The positive thing about our community is this - we may squabble, we may disagree, but when push comes to shove on any crisis that hits our county, there is a unity that has served us well in our existence.

There is no question that there is a major financial crisis affecting our school system. Many people and groups have strong ideas on how to correct the economic problems facing the Newton County School System, including our editorial board. Until the final decision is made on how almost $10 million is going to be cut, people have a right to offer their suggestions and the right to disagree with other's suggestions.

We have been pleased to see that our local citizens have actively participated in this debate. A BOE meeting held at Alcovy High School's auditorium Tuesday was packed to capacity. Discourse was civil between parents, coaches, students and members of the BOE. Listening to each other is the first step to productivity.

As proud as we are of key players becoming involved in the school budget discussion, we are disappointed in the recent communications of our state Sen. John Douglas. Douglas should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our county school officials while they try to work with the state, but instead he is responding to his local constituents' concerns with inaccurate information in regards to the reserve fund held by the school system. The senator should be a leader in the fight to secure funds, but instead he is passing the buck.

This editorial board is going to continue to offer our constructive criticism as well as suggest solutions until the final vote is taken. Final decisions will fall on the shoulders of the elected BOE and Dr. Steve Whatley.

When the smoke clears, we are going to support that decision until, and if, a better one comes from the new board members and superintendent. That's what being a Newton Countian is all about - being a team player and doing your best to ensure our team wins in the end.