The Rappahannock County School Board’s proposed 4.7 percent increase in local funding for the 2013-14 school budget comes on the heels of a 3.3 percent increase just last year. These never-ending spending increases are unfair and unsustainable and, really, are they necessary?
In spite of relatively stable school enrollment, we are told year after year that even more spending is required to properly educate the children of our county. Again this year, we’ve been told that more staffing, pay, benefits and dollars are needed – these amounts are recurring and will impact our school and county budgets for years to come. Why? Just how many total personnel are really needed to educate the students in our small school system? According to the Virginia Department of Education we already have a ratio of less than 11 students to each teacher.
Why can’t we simply reduce school spending? Many school systems in the commonwealth have already accomplished this fiscal feat according to budget cycles posted to the Virginia Department of Education website.
We now spend over $12 million to educate just 913 students in Rappahannock County, an average of about $13,200 per student. Isn’t it time that Rappahannock County taxpayers tell the school board and our board of supervisors that enough is enough?
Jeffrey E. Knight