Not the time

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We’ve had occasion in this space to disagree with Franklin School Board member David Benton in the past, but this time we couldn’t agree with him more.

On Tuesday night the board voted 4-1 to pay the remaining balance for state championship jackets for the Franklin High School football team. Benton — a voice of reason — was the dissenting vote.

“Given the economic climate that we are in right now, we need to be mindful of where we’re spending every dollar,” Benton said at the time.

There’s no doubt that the team, which has already received watches and Super Bowl-sized rings for its big win, deserves the highest praise from the citizenry.

The city and the school benefitted from the afterglow of that championship, and for that we’re thankful.

It’s nice to know, too, that the school board, when forced, has the know-how to scrape together that much money.

But that $5,000 — more than half of the balance left on the jackets — could have been used so much more wisely for Franklin High School or for education in general.

In April the board adopted a lean fiscal 2010 budget that cut spending 7.3 percent and will eliminate 23 jobs.

True, $5,000 probably wouldn’t have saved one of those jobs, but does the board want to give the impression that $5,000 is easy to come by?

If the board wanted to help, it could have sounded the rallying cry and encouraged people to keep donating toward the cause.

People have certainly opened their hearts and wallets for the cause thus far.