Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Summer school in math class.

Nashville is not alone in our budget crunch. From the Jackson Sun we learn that Jackson-Madison County Schools are having serious troubles of their own. Typically, the lead is about how teacher will suffer as a result of this lack of funds. The children do get a slight mention at the end.

The school budget trouble seems to be the natural result of the trouble the county, itself, is having.

Meanwhile, some county leaders went to Nashville on Friday to discuss the $5 million in loans with state officials. County officials warned the state they may be late making some payments on the loans - which total $3 million from the county's interdepartmental fund and $2 million from First Tennessee Bank. The County Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the West Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, 605 Airways Blvd., to consider an amendment to the 2004-2005 budget to make it more accurately reflect this current situation. Options suggested by the state comptroller's office included extending the repayment plan and paying more interest or floating general fund bonds - which could give the county as much as 20 years to pay the debt but also could hurt its credit rating.

School Board Chairman Ben Rudd, who was part of the delegation that went to Nashville, said it should not be surprising that the schools have to cut the budget.

''We've cut it every year since I've been associated with the board. It is extremely rare to have a total budget request accepted,'' he said.

Shouldn't one of the first lessons we teach by example to our students be fiscal responsibility? Considering our dangerous debt load in this nation...it may be a much more important lesson than any that might be learned in an extra-curricular activities or via art and music.

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