Less means more

Published 9:01 am Thursday, June 23, 2011

Apparently, simple math was not figured into the equation on Monday night.

Despite all the public outcry since the June 6 majority decision by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners to increase funding to the local public school system by $100,000 for the upcoming new budget year, no one bothered to discuss past history.

Despite all the opinions, including one penned by this newspaper in this exact space, over whether or not two commissioners, both employed by the county’s school system, should have stepped aside and not voted for a school funding increase, there was nary a mention of what has transpired over the past five years.

It didn’t take us long to find it….in fact, a 10-minute search, which included jotting down a few numbers, did the trick. All it took was a bit of simple math to get to the heart of the issue.

In the aftermath of this past Monday’s commissioners meeting – one where the board, again on a spilt 3-2 vote, opted to uphold the increased allocation to the schools – this newspaper discovered some interesting facts.

The ADM (Average Daily Membership; those numbers courtesy of ncpublicschools.org) of Hertford County’s school system has been on the decline over the past five years. To ensure a level playing field, we looked at Hertford County’s numbers during the third month of each of those five years – starting with 3,394 students in 2006-07 and ending with 3,139 during 2010-11.

Over that same time period, the local funds to HCPS have increased from $3.75 million (06-07) to the current level of $4.17 million.

And now they’re getting another 100 grand on top of that.

Yes, we support public education, but in a business sense there must be a proverbial line drawn in the sand, especially when dealing with taxpayer dollars.

There’s not a business we know of today that’s not accomplishing more with less. That appears to be the opposite within Hertford County Schools.

We would encourage the Hertford County Commissioners to rescind the school funding increase prior to voting on the new budget at their June 27 meeting.

It’s not personal, it’s just business.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald