It#039;s all about kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The bleak financial future for schools in Alabama is a sad, sad thing. What's even worse is that this time, it truly is a case of "It's happening in our backyard."

Schools in Covington County are not exempt from this round of slashing and gashing of the education budget. They're falling victim to the implacable assailant called proration.

The State of Alabama, with all its myriad of problems, continues to find itself filled with argumentative lawmakers, political action committees, lobbying firms and yes, taxpayers; who can't seem to come to a cohesive agreement on the right way to solve the educational crisis in our state. About the only thing they can agree on is that it needs fixing

just not at their expense or in a way, shape or form that requires the cooperation of all involved parties.

We try to always take a positive look at the good things in our communities. Dr. Tim Lull, superintendent of the Opp City Schools, announced Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting that Opp had a 100 percent passing rate in the state's graduation exam, and that the school system continues to excel in standardized testing scores above and beyond the state norm. That's probably some of the best news we've heard in a long time.

But, sadly, with the good, Dr. Lull had to dole out the bad. The sad fact that 12 teaching units face elimination due to budget shortfalls.

When you say it, it sounds so dry - teaching units - but what that really is is teachers - educators - PEOPLE!

Does the state and our own local communities expect our school systems to continue to educate our children and grandchildren at such an exceptional level while continuing to cut the number of educators and programs our children benefit from?

Well, they shouldn't expect it. When test scores start to slip, and Opp, Andalusia, and Covington County School System students start scoring below the state and national average - people shouldn't complain. Our education administrators are doing the best they can - we're just not giving them the proper tools they need to get the job done like it should be.