Letters to the Editor

Beware of schools with fiscal autonomy

A Jan. 30 letter states that the Beaufort County Board of Education should have fiscal autonomy.

Translated: The school board could vote to raise our taxes for more unnecessary spending.

The school board has suggested closing one of the highest-ranked elementary schools in the district -- Shell Point Elementary -- to save money. The board built an unneeded high school -- Whale Branch Early College High School -- because of a 60- to 90-minute bus ride from the Whale Branch, Dale, Lobeco, Sheldon, Seabrook area to Battery Creek High School. Instead of spending $35 million for a new school, why not spend $200,000 on three school buses and have a "Dolphin Express Run" from those neighborhoods straight to Battery Creek?

The excuse to build the high school was that it was required due to a referendum that passed. If so, then why weren't the other buildings of that referendum required to be built? Part of the referendum, a new district office in Okatie, was not built -- to save money.

And speaking of Whale Branch Early College High, remember the original plan was that all the students would get laptops and download textbooks -- to save money? That downloading proved too expensive and the school had to buy textbooks after buying laptops for the students.

William Raspberry was right: "Giving autonomy to incompetents would be like using Miracle-Gro on kudzu."

Sue Jarrett Lady's Island