To the editor:
Published in the June 5 edition of The Laurinburg Exchange was Bill Morgan’s letter to the editor on the school funding law. Mr. Morgan stands out as one well informed from both sides of the funding law. After all, he has dealt with this law, having served both as a county commissioner and as a school board member.
Before this school funding law was passed there were two school systems in this county. One county and another city. The county had several schools and as Mr. Morgan stated, each needed several buckets when it rained. Not stated, but a well-known fact is most had buckled floors, well-worn books and little to no playground equipment. In the winter the rooms were drafty and in the summer one had to acquire a taste for gnats. City schools fared somewhat better. In 1963 the city and county leaders knew these conditions existed and took the initiative to make all the schools equal and to fund them at a level to provide for a quality education.
Thus came the Scotland County school funding law and as its commonly called the “school floor funding law.” This law for many years served the county well, but as time and circumstances changed it has become a cash cow!
The taxpayers fund the cow with tax and the school board under the law milks the cow — the county — dry. Under this outdated and uncontrolled law the school board is straining the needed agencies that are essential to a well-balanced and growing county.
According to the 2012 Local School Finance Study, twice as much money as in Richmond County and three times as much money in Hoke and Robeson counties is spent here to educate each student. Does this indicate Scotland County students are two to three times more educated? Are our teachers fairing financially better than those in Richmond and Robeson counties?
Where does Scotland County look next year if there is a need to raise taxes again? The taxpayers? Maybe cut out Parks and Recreation? Cut wages and benefits again? County residents, things are getting, no, have gotten serious. This outdated funding law has got to be repealed. Mr. Morgan in his letter says it well. Residents should stand against outdated school funding law. I’m standing with you, Mr. Morgan, and I’m asking all county residents to do the same and to let our commissioners and school board know it is time to end this law.