Power Grab

Whether or not you agree with the “High Point Choice Plan“, everyone must realize that a dangerous and extraordinary event occured during the County Commissioners meeting this past Thursday.  During that meeting a majority of Commissioners voted to deny the school board’s request to re-allocate $2M to upfit four schools for programs that are slated to start just over a month from now.  This $2M was to have come from already-issued bonds that were approved by the voters in 2001 and ear-marked for a completed elementary school construction project that came in under budget.

Notice I said four schools because this money wasn’t only for High Point high schools.  Lost in the injustice and histrionics felt and demonstrated by the ABC of Guilford County parent group was the fact that $382,544 of the denied amount was to have gone to a new and non-controversial magnet program in Brown Summit.  This College Prepatory Middle School was designed to offer high academic rigor for 6th,7th, and 8th graders.  It’s status is now in limbo every bit as much as Andrews, High Point Central and Southeast High Schools.

The N&R put it succinctly when they reported the outcome of the vote yesterday:

Under North Carolina law, county commissioners control the release of any capital improvement money, even though the money belongs to the school system. Commissioners typically have released such money, leaving decisions on how to use the money up to the school board.

When it comes to formulating policy and programs for Guilford County Schools, our Board of Commissioners should have the same amount of input as every other citizen of the county…  one person – one vote… when it comes time to elect our School Board.

Through the ballot box we entrusted the current school board with the task of running our schools.  Through politicized meddling, a majority of our Commissioners usurped authority that is, by law, vested with our elected School Board during last Thursday’s meeting.

I, for one, do not want a bunch of bickering partisan politicians screwing around with my children’s education like they did last Thursday.  It was an ugly and perverted coup that can only be explained by the fact that this is an election year.

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