The Lee County Board of Education may have made the most brutally honest argument possible in the current budget debate for local funding of the LCSS. The LCBOE had Dr. Moss develop a revised budget plan to address the less than requested increases in local school funding for the LCSS. The ever vigilant and dutiful Dr. Moss was ready. He immediately proposed reducing the number of people employed in various capacities within the LCSS, well over a hundred including 50-some teachers. There were some other minor reductions proposed, such as parking 12 or so buses and curtailing paid support for athletics. But for all the media hype given the brutality of the cuts, and even Dr. Moss’ assertions at this past week’s County Commissioners’ meeting that the pending reductions were ‘on top of the cuts from two tears ago’, there have been no substantive, or even readily apparent cuts, curtailments, modifications, or reductions in scope of any program, curriculum or technological initiative announced by the LCSS as cost savings.
What is brutally honest then? The LCSS declared you excess. Excess because there doesn’t appear to be any program, area of curriculum, or technological initiative that must be halted, altered, or significantly modified as the result of staff loss. There isn’t one school that will not open or one student not provided a sound, basic education due to staff reductions. If this assertion is in fact true, then the reductions are necessary. Not only that, if these staff members weren’t necessary for the work of the LCSS, why were they hired in the first place? Another brutally honest conclusion is that the LCBOE declared a number of administrators to be essential when they approved new contracts and extended the contracts for them, before receiving the final NC State Budget, or the Lee County local school allocation proposal. Granted not all administrators were included in this round of contracts, they might not be essential, or like Dr. Moss had a contract extension this past year.
These comments are speculative, based upon the information publicly available from the LCSS. These are brutally honest conclusions based upon that publicly available information. Information about programs and such of the LCSS is not readily available. LCSS operational priorities are not known or publicized (note– stated goals are not prioritizations, Mr. Yow). What is known is what the LCSS and Dr. Moss release to the public. Some, but maybe not all, administrators are essential; technological initiatives are essential; and the operational procedures of the LCSS are sound and not needing modification. Staff reductions within the LCSS must also be in order then. Fiscal responsibility does require brutal honesty though.