Patience has paid off for the Wayne County Public Schools system and the county government.
It seems, as promised, our friends in Raleigh have been listening. And they were correct -- some things do take a while.
The measure that passed the Senate Friday and looks like it should pass the House today is an answer to the many fervent prayers of the county school system superintendent and the county commissioners.
A bill passed some time ago had them each scratching their heads as to how to implement a mandate that would reduce classroom sizes statewide in county school systems. To do so in the allotted time -- by next school year -- would have meant drastic cuts to the arts, music and physical education and would have cost a small fortune in creating new classroom space and the hiring of some 50 new teachers.
At the behest of the local officials, Representatives John Bell and Jimmy Dixon, among others, went to work to draft a new bill, HB 90, which will instead allow the counties to apply the class size reductions incrementally over the next several years. Also built into the legislation are safety nets for the arts, music and P.E. classes, ensuring that as class sizes do become smaller, the well-rounded curriculum students require to become truly well-educated will not be diminished.
To be fair, there is some concern about a portion of the bill that redirects money -- $57 million that the governor had negotiated for potential environmental and economic projects surrounding the incoming Atlantic Coast Pipeline -- to help fund the class reductions more responsibly. But we have no doubt that the good folks in both chambers will find ways to take the necessary precautions around those concerns as the pipeline draws closer to fruition.
In the meantime, an attaboy is called for in a big way for Bell, Dixon and all who stayed the course and found a way to circumnavigate the crisis that could have been with the class size reductions.