HCPS faces tough choices

Published 9:56 am Thursday, June 25, 2009

The news is not good.

As North Carolina elected officials wrestle with building a state budget in the face of an already 4-plus billion dollar deficit, they have limited options, other than massive tax increases, when it comes to “business as usual” in the state.

That thought doesn’t bode well within several local agencies that rely heavily on state funding. One such local entity is Hertford County Public Schools.

At Monday’s meeting of the Hertford County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Michael Basham was the bearer of bad news….that of an expected $1.3 million shortfall to the county’s public school system from the state’s Department of Public Instruction.

While the state cuts affect each and every public school system across North Carolina, the timing could not be worse for Hertford County.

Since Dr. Basham’s arrival three years ago, Hertford County Schools have made significant gains in student achievement as well as morale within the system. There was a bright future for HCPS, despite the fact that Basham was retiring. He and his staff has placed the system on solid footing.

Now faced with state cuts, that future isn’t as rosy as first pictured.

What the HCPS leaders must do at this point, and we have every reason to believe they will, is to ensure that these cuts do not affect the education of our children. HCPS can ill-afford to go backwards at this point, especially after working so hard to get the system where it stands today.

We wish them luck in this tough endeavor.