03/19/08 — OK, you have it: Commission has school budget, by the rules

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OK, you have it: Commission has school budget, by the rules

Wayne County’s school officials have lived up to their end of the bargain.

Tuesday, they released a preliminary budget for the coming year that includes details, needs assessments and logical and thoughtful spending on facilities improvements.

It also takes into account future plans and how to stay on track to fund them — as well as a whole new round of possible state mandates that could come down the pike in the near future.

It is not excessive. It is not outlandish. It is a responsible first run, with prudent cuts and investments.

Now, the Wayne County commissioners must live up to their end of the bargain.

The budget is in — as requested.

The next step is to get a move on and get the first round of work done to get the schools moving forward.

And that requires county officials to stop talking and start voting.

And while they are at it, there are a few more promises to keep.

The commissioners made a big deal earlier this year about making sure the school district has the funds it needs to bring more programs to local schools.

The idea? To increase the county’s graduation rate and to make sure learners with challenges get the extra help they need.

Now it is time to put those words into budget form.

This next round of money talk should include some extras designed to bring more resources to local schools to help them reach those educational goals.

Consider it a good faith payment not only to those who are trying to better educate Wayne County students, but to the children and parents who have been promised the resources to provide better schools.

And general talk is not what is needed here, either.

It is time for a dollar amount — and a roadmap on how we are going to get there.

This is the leadership this county needs from its commissioners — especially now that there is actually progress being made.

There is reason to be happy today. Thanks to some local leaders who made the initial push, there is actual movement on the school funding question. We aren’t wasting time bickering anymore.

Credit also goes to school and county officials who seem to have really made moving forward a priority.

But as pleased as we are with the progress that has been made, that doesn’t mean it is time to let up on getting the job accomplished and some real plans in the works for making the goal of a better education for every Wayne County child a reality.

So now, especially with an election approaching, we are still watching to see if words become action.

Published in Editorials on March 19, 2008 11:30 AM