Choose quality over quantity in Isle of Wight

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

To the Editor:

I attended Isle of Wight County School Board’s last meeting, and the big issue was the budget. I watched the School Board members pore over the budget trying to meet the county administrator’s request to keep it unchanged from last year.

I find that appalling. The county administrator and the planning team are trying to overpopulate the Newport district, yet the county is not willing to give the funds needed to do something like replace the roof on Carrollton Elementary School, which is in that district.

Our schools are becoming maxed out. After paying for their health insurance and other deductions, teachers make less than their colleagues in surrounding school districts, and the children ultimately suffer.

Isle of Wight’s current capital improvement plan anticipates 1,900 new residential units in Carrollton — 852 of them apartments. This does not account for the 10,000-rooftop plan of 2040.

Where are these children supposed to go? The county has said it wants more families, but if the school system struggles to give current students the education and facilities they deserve, how can it do so for incoming students?

Facilities in Isle of Wight need upgrades and maintenance now, not in 2040. I don’t want my child having class in a trailer because classrooms are full, and I don’t want my child to be in a class of 30 or more.

I have taught overcrowded classes, and no matter how amazing the teacher, the educational quality is diminished. Isle of Wight’s Board of Supervisors should give schools what they need to provide their students the best education possible. That’s not happening, because of the restrictions supervisors have put on the School Board and the superintendent.

The Board of Supervisors and the county administrator are not looking out for the residents of the county. I don’t know who they are looking out for anymore, but it doesn’t seem to be the residents, and — as evidenced by their current actions — it’s not the children, who are the future of the county.

Supervisors have a chance to redeem themselves by funding the schools the way they should be funded and by halting the 2040 plan and staying with the 2008 CIP. They can’t make everything right all at once, but these would be huge steps to regain the trust of their constituents.

Choose quality over quantity, please.

Victoria Hulick