While Rep. Bruce Douglas of the state legislature makes comments that make all thinking Coloradans squirm, back here in the Old Dominion, we’re hard at work trying to create our own crowds of illiterate peasants, thanks so much for caring.
The Pittsylvania County (VA) Board of Supervisors has just voted to cut the school system budget for per pupil expenditures for the county’s school system by $686,000.
This in and of itself might not raise your eyebrows, hard hearted/hard headed pragmatists that all you readers are – we’re in tough economic times after all. But, as those classic commercials say, wait – there’s more…. Pittsylvania County ranks 132nd out of 134 school districts in the commonwealth of Virginia in per pupil expenditures. Despite this abysmal ranking, declining performance on those always valuable EOG and NCLB based tests, and having the school system boast, among numerous problems, one of the commonwealth’s highest dropout rates, the Board of Supervisors has chosen to reduce spending per pupil because its constituents have identified the real problems facing our education system….
At the meeting at which the reduction was discussed, citizens were told they would be restricted to 3 minutes for comments to the Board on its budget plan. The Board then proceeded to allow two speakers to have longer than 2 minutes – the first, a curmudgeon in his 90’s (yes, you read that right) who spoke for 25 minutes blamed the shortcomings in the county’s educational system on “uppity women” who were not “keeping to their place” and “staying at home with their children.”
This speaker was followed by another, younger curmudgeon (in his late 70’s-early 80’s) who blamed the failings of the education system on a lack of preparedness among his fellow citizens for the imminent Al Qaeda attack (or some such nonsense). He spoke for nearly 20 minutes about, among others, Patrick Henry – a historical figure that many of the students in Pittsylvania County cannot identify….
The remaining speakers, all speaking against reducing the school system budget, were then told that their speaking time was reduced to 2 minutes. Most were cut off by the Board after around 90 seconds.
The Board then voted overwhelmingly to cut the school budget.
Coloradans may now feel better about themselves….