Put in your 2 cents for school budgets

Published 12:42 pm Saturday, February 20, 2016

Earlier this week, Isle of Wight County School Supt. Dr. James Thornton presented a $54.4 million budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017. During the outline, he said the school system will need a four percent increase ($1.8 million) from the local government, which means you, really.

In his view, this isn’t an extravagant request, and we’re not going to argue with it. But you can, and we urge you to do so. The opportunity comes up at the public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. in Georgie D. Tyler Middle School, Windsor.

Isle of Wight residents might well recall that in the past several years the school board and Board of Supervisors have gone back and forth with budget requests versus availability of money. As one County staff member pointed out to us quite recently, county budgets have been especially tight. Furthermore, locating that million-plus dollars for the schools “is going to be difficult.”

The same could easily be said for Franklin and Southampton. Everyone and everything was affected by the recession that began in 2008-2009, and recovery takes its time.

Whether in Isle of Wight, Franklin or Southampton, public hearings are the ideal opportunity to question the figures and offer criticism or support of the offered budgets. We hope you’ll agree that attending and participating will be in your best interest, no matter which locality.

The collective voice of residents can well determine how much more they’ll pay in taxes in the next year.