08/22/08 — It's time to worry: Duplin officials should not be in charge of public education

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It's time to worry: Duplin officials should not be in charge of public education

Does it worry anyone else that some of the attorneys in the Duplin County school funding lawsuit don't seem to know the difference between opening statements and arguments?

If you are a taxpayer in Duplin County, it sure ought to make you think twice about who is watching your money.

The continuing saga that has become the county school funding lawsuit has already become such a joke that it is hard to believe anyone is actually going to benefit from the more than $100,000 that has already been spent to fight it.

And by the end of the proceedings, it is likely Superior Court Judge Thomas Haigwood of Greenville is going to qualify for sainthood -- or at least a very long vacation.

And what is really sad is that this is a district that is in desperate need of attention. There are many students who need more help and many schools that really don't have the resources they need to serve them.

So while the inanities continue in the courthouse, Duplin students and teachers are poised to head back to a system that is almost in crisis mode.

Someone should have thought to fight this battle sooner, before a couple of weeks before the start of school. Then, something might have been able to be done in a more timely fashion. Now, the issue will continue in the courts -- and taxpayer dollars will continue to drain away.

Duplin residents who care about their schools need to speak up -- to let their representatives know that this is a priority and that it needs to get resolved, soon. The stakes are just too high for this foolishness to continue. Pressure just might get some action without thousands more dollars in legal fees.

And once there is an agreement, voters should be thinking about something else, too -- better leadership.

Published in Editorials on August 22, 2008 10:56 AM