Let me express my appreciation to the Technical College of the Lowcountry Area Commission, led by retired Gen. Art Brown Jr., William Small Jr. and administration and Tom Leitzel, immediate past president of TCL, for naming me the 2013 Presidential Medallion recipient. I accepted this honor on behalf of those who helped fashion my basic values and continuing development, including my late parents, other family members, former teachers, those whom I have been privileged to work with in my fields of employment, volunteer and elective service.
All who have worked with me know that I strongly believe in the value of education, particularly a public education system that meets the needs of all citizens to become productive contributors to our society. (Note: I have never opposed a private education system).
I say this because I noticed in the 2013-14 state budget, public funds were being allocated to support private pre-kindergarten education. I am disappointed that there was not more public debate about this. This is a slippery slope that leads to vouchers and tax credits, which will further undermine efforts to make needed changes in our public education system.
I hope those who believe in public education and necessary improvements to be made in it will voice their opinion to the members of our Legislative Delegation. Public dollars should finance public primary and secondary education.
Let's have more public discussion.
Fred Washington Jr.
Editor's note: The writer is the former chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Education.