GCS Not Mature Enough To Handle $1.7 Billion

Dear Editor,

Utterly destroyed emotionally, Ben released the tear-soaked white rose as it listlessly, almost somberly, drifted to the cold steel lid of the coffin six feet into a lifeless and barren hole. “I had nothing growing up. Truly, all I wanted was to give him everything he ever wanted,” said Ben completely distraught as he stood over the open grave of his 16-year-old son, Shawn, following the graveside service.

See, what happened was Ben bought his son a brand new v10 Dodge Viper for his 16th birthday. Shawn had begun to drive and because Ben had been very successful in his business and he had sufficiently earned a healthy income, he wanted to give his son something he could never have as a teenage boy. Ben grew up in abject poverty and never owned a car, much less a hot rod, until he could afford a 20-year-old jalopy on his 25th birthday.

Unfortunately, the warning signs were there though. Shawn had been involved in a couple of minor accidents in the supercharged car. They were nothing very serious but it was evident to everyone but Ben and Shawn that this was too much car for this particular boy. Then, it happened. Shawn was involved in a serious head-on collision with an 18-wheeler while speeding at 120 miles per hour late one night on the highway.

One should never award another with more than he or she is able to handle appropriately. The story here is a euphemism fortunately but it has, sadly, occurred many times. A benevolent father wanting to give his son or daughter more than he or she ever possessed growing up only to see it harm them in the end.

Ladies and gentlemen, Guilford County Schools is asking for a supercharged vehicle and we the voting public want to see them have more than we ever did growing up. Unfortunately, they are not sufficiently mature to handle such a supercharged amount of money.  See, this administration and board of education has demonstrated, time and again, they are not capable of maneuvering such a powerful vehicle.

While we all support and want to see our school facilities improved, we have just been shown many times over that this administration and board will simply not spend the funds where they need to be. They would rather drop millions on social-emotional learning than on roof and heating/cooling upgrades. They would rather drop millions on a new professional development building or spend $15,000 a pop on renting the GTCC Colfax building for meetings than to ensure the district employs sufficient maintenance workers.

We cannot give them this $1.7 billion supercharged vehicle at this moment. They are the dangerous 16-year-old kid who is not sufficiently mature to drive it. Frankly, I do not want to be the father peering over the tear-soaked coffin lid of a crumbling school building wondering where the money went. Have we not asked this enough? Elect the New Vision, New Direction candidates. Install maturity back onto the board. Ensure they hire a mature driver in the superintendent and, better yet, a competent Chief Finance Officer. Wait to see if they demonstrate fiscal soundness. Then, give them the money they need to secure the future of our schools.

Rick Stegall