Saturday, March 16, 2013

RCBOE Throws Students Under the Bus

Last Richmond County Board of Education (RCBOE) meeting -3/12/2013- more closely resembled that of a multinational corporation than that of a local school board. Venus Cain, President of the BOE and most of the Board demonstrated they see no reason to provide transportation to Richmond County students attending the Tubman Education Center’s Alternative School

They completely missed the point initially raised by Ms. Barbara Pulliam that it was important to discuss the reality of family’s who are calling her and other Board members relating their difficulties in getting their students to the Center since Richmond County refuses to provide bus service to them. 

For some reason these members are so out of touch with their constituents that they believe withholding transportation for students who deserve a second chance will somehow help them realize the folly of their ways. 

How ridiculous and actually cruel of them to further punish students and their families. They have already been through a disciplinary process and are suffering the consequence of their actions by being removed from their zoned schools.

Ms. Patsy Scott brought home the most salient of points when she sited the City’s lack of adequate public transportation which otherwise could have been offered as (pardon the pun) an alternative to the families living in South Augusta.

For all of the ranting about furloughs that Mr. Atkins and Ms. Cain did you would have thought they were paying teachers salaries themselves. No one including Ms. Minchew or Mr. Barnes who has always claimed to have his student’s best interest at heart seemed to actually have one themselves. SHAME on you! 

I bet if you had asked the teachers they would agree that if you save even one student from dropping out of school you help not only that student move down a better path towards being a more productive citizen but society benefits as a whole. The Alternative School can do that but only if the students can get there. 

Would you rather pay $90,000 a year to house a future inmate or spend the $10,000 a year including the cost of a bus and fulfill the Boards mission? I know how I want my tax dollars spent. 

I hope that the Board reconsiders its options before it further damages its credibility with the public. The RCBOE website clearly states that EVERY person has a right to a quality education, while its Mission is to educate students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens. 

Denice Traina

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