My Turn, Your Turn: School budgets

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Pretend your boss tells you that next week your salary will probably go down - but you don't know by how much.  Pretend your mechanic is already working on your car - but refuses to give you an estimate. Pretend your bank won't tell you how much money you have in your account.

Now, tell me how you're going to figure out the family finances.  It can't be done. Sounds crazy, but that's similar to what the school districts across this state are going through.

The school year is about to start and several counties do not know how much money they are going to have, and more importantly, they don't know how many employees they may need to terminate.

This is particularly a problem in Pender County where 2 million dollars have already been cut and the livelihoods of a number of teacher assistants literally hang in the balance.

You know who's to blame for all this, don't you?  It's the lawmakers who took so long to pass a budget.  I only wish they valued education as much as they claimed in their campaigns.  For this type of tardiness - they deserve an "F" this year.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else.  Email me at

Emailed responses from viewers:

In response to the "My Turn, Your Turn" I'd just like to add a comment.  I am not sure why legislation cannot come up with a budget repetitively each year until most of the time after the fiscal year and into the next budget year.  Do they need to start this early.  I have been a part of education my entire career and in none of my classes was project grades allowed after the due date.  As I have an accounting degree, you learn that balancing a budget is imperative to maintaining a healthy finance system.  Since when did it become okay to allow government to do differently and why are we as the public allowing this.  We, the public, must stand up and say "no more."  If anyone is to serve the state or the nation, then we should demand a balanced budget, and if they do not surrender a balanced budget, then they do not need to be governing this state or nation.  With all of the bad publicity that Bill Clinton had, I have to say he did balance the budget.  Was it that hard for him and legislation?  With all of the stimulus and budget cuts this past year, job loss, and people scraping by to learn whether they will be mandated to accept a health care system that the government leaders will not even be a part of, I am appalled that the first lady has 22 assistants who require salaries of over 1.5 million dollars (ref:  Let's begin to demand that government on all levels cut out the programs and frivolous spending that have been riding along on other budgets and pass only those with true need.  Let's demand that the state and nation balance our "public checkbook."  Let's demand that Michele Obama or any other first lady have one assistant just as Jackie Kennedy.  Why, all of a sudden, has our first lady become this needy.

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