Before I begin I want to say that I like Milt Johns. I think he’s an intelligent, kind, and generous man. He’s a brilliant attorney, loves his wife and his kids, and cares about our community. He cares so much that he was willing to run for and serve as the Chairman of our School Board. I’m proud to say that I campaigned and voted for him in the last election.
I disagree with Milt wholeheartedly on the issue of the school pool.
In his latest letter published in local press, Milt said we can’t blame the school pool for all that ills our school system. He’s right on that point because the cost of operating and paying off the debt issued for the school pool isn’t included in the current school year’s budget. The school pool isn’t the reason there are 38 kids in some high school math classes, or why so many of our schools are overcrowded, or why our schools are rationing supplies like ink, toner, and paper in the 2nd week of the school year. The school pool isn’t the reason high school students have to purchase the books they’ll be reading in English or why our teachers haven’t gotten the raises they deserve in the last bunch of years. The school pool isn’t the reason some of our buses have kids seated 3 to a bench.
Milt is absolutely right. We can’t blame the school pool for any of those things.
But we sure can question the wisdom of spending what will likely be $1 million or more a year on a school pool when those things are commonplace in our schools.
To many of us, the school pool simply makes no sense.
If PWCS doesn’t have enough money to provide basic supplies like ink and toner and paper to our classrooms now, how will we have enough in a few years to pay an additional $1 million in expenses for the pool?
Where will the money for the pool money come from?
Is spending a million plus a year on the pool a wise choice when we have classes with 38 children in them, can’t provide our teachers with the supplies they need in the classroom, and don’t pay our teachers a wage that’s competitive with other schools in the region?
How is a pool a higher priority than our classrooms and our teachers?
Help us understand. Please, Milt, Betty, Dr O, and Lillie, help us understand why you think the pool is a wise choice for our school system, in lieu of the financial struggles that it faces. Help us understand where the money to pay for it will come from. Please help us understand because many of us just don’t get it.