No money for books and supplies, but Free Breakfast & Lunch for EVERYBODY !!!!!

freeBlinkin’ Chris Fitzsimon and his partner-in-crime Scowlin’ Rob Schofield recently  lead a chorus of drive-bys in needling State senate president Phil Berger about alleged public school money woes in his home county of Rockingham. Apparently, the system is struggling to pay for textbooks and supplies and other important components of the education process.  *And, of course, it is all the Republican Party’s fault.*robsblink

The Blinker & The Scowler neglected to mention a report from August of this year where the Rockingham County school system announced its plans to spend more than a half million dollars on buying EVERY student in the system, regardless of ability to pay, lunch and breakfast on every school day. (Gosh. A half million could buy a lot of supplies, and fund some pay raises too.) 

We caught up with state Senator Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), the senate’s majority whip, to get his thoughts on this revelation:

Some of the sensational headlines really caught my attention. Apparently,  Rockingham County Schools were  short on textbooks and teachers don’t have toilet paper. Teachers without toilet paper? Teachers having to beg for basic supplies and unable to send home work packets for first graders? This brought a lot of questions to mind. The school year is less than halfway through and the Rockingham County Schools are in this financial situation already? 

Come to find out Superintendent Rodney Shotwell and his Chief Financial Officer Parker Turpin decided to provide “free” meals to all students – at a cost of $514,000. I suppose the “free meals for all” really meant all – including those who could afford to pay and even to those who did not want “free” meals…

Every school system in North Carolina gets basically the same state dollars based on Average Daily Membership. Local tax dollars vary by county and you’ll see varying degrees of funding locally. State dollars account for the vast majority of school system revenue. I know of no other school system in the state that provides “free” meals for all. Apparently Superintendent Shotwell thinks “free” really means free.181429-Tillman_budget-220x165

Also, every school system in the state gets the same allocation for textbooks and/or computers. How much each system spends on textbooks or computers is up to them. If any school superintendent spends it all on computers, don’t cry about not enough textbooks. Spend it where you need it most – but be willing to live with your decisions.

From where I sit, it looks like Superintendent Shotwell and the Rockingham County Schools leadership team are finding it hard to live with their poor decisions.  I am finding it easy to understand why.”

5 thoughts on “No money for books and supplies, but Free Breakfast & Lunch for EVERYBODY !!!!!

  1. I agree to what Jerry Tillman had to say and the great job that the General Assembly has done for the state.

  2. The grossly overpaid education bureaucrats who occupy the positions of school superintendents in our counties are frequently incompetent as managers, and this guy is just another example of that. Sadly, too many elected school board members become nothing buy yes men or women to these overpaid education bureaucrats by acting like the superintendent is their boss instead of their employee. It looks like Rockingham County needs to clean house of its school board, and get a new board that pays attention, questions their employee the superintendent on policy, and understands good management.

    The state also needs to broaden its qualifications for who can be appointed school superintendent. A good manager out of the private sector would often be a better choice than these grasping education bureaucrats, and they may take a more reasonable salary.

  3. The way money is being spent by districts and school boards needs to be looked at closely.
    The State Auditor just did the clerks of court right? Now she should do school boards and districts.

    Wake County’s hiring of a director of “Equity Affairs” is a fine example:

    These are just a few of the questionable spending stories in Ed I’ve done.

    NC Paying Out $1.5 Million Over 3 Years To 2 Contractors For Race To Top Monitoring:

    N&O Op-Ed Skips Mention Of “Strategic Plan” Cost:

    Guilford County Schools Spends $357,448.60 On One Symposium:

    #TeacherPay: ABSS Board Hires Temp. Super for $13k / mo. With $1,500 Housing Allowance:

    No one pays attention to the fat contracts signed in this state.

    “Pearson Equella Contract for NC Community Colleges: $35,284,419”

    1. Thank you for uncovering this because their budgets are so inflated and the teachers suffer the consequences. The textbook issue is related to the UN’s Common Core Standards and the books that are being forced upon the school systems statewide are so inaccurate that I have seen many career teachers wanting to retire early. The newbies on the block think Common Core is wonderful but the elementary sponges do not retain the information . What kind of accountability should we expect?

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