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Cafe Society to discuss how schools are funded

By Staff | Nov 6, 2015

The Cafe Society, a part of Shepherd University’s Life Long Learning Program will hold its next discussion on Nov. 10. The topic will be “How we meet the challenge of providing adequate funding for our schools.” These weekly discussions are held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Rumsey Room of the Shepherd University Student Center each Tuesday morning. Pre-registration is not required and there are no fees or charges.

Mike Austin, one of the facilitators commented, “County educators are in the final stages of preparing for a vote on renewing the school levy. This raises a number of questions on how our public schools are funded in a county and state where parents often choose alternative means of educating their children. This includes church schools, private schools and home schooling in addition to the traditional public school option. There is even recurring discussion of the desirability of charter schools. These options are being pursued when political leaders at all levels are warning about increasing difficulties in raising adequate funds for competing governmental functions.”

He commented further, “There are a number of dynamic forces that complicate how this school funding problem is resolved. In some cases it is all about managing expectations. How much of the responsibility for nurturing our children should be borne by the schools systems. The balance point between parental and public responsibility continues to change with the schools often picking up the slack when families falter. In addition to the traditional challenges, today’s educators have to ensure that children receive adequate nutrition, deal with increasingly costly demands for physical security and provide a safe drug-free environment. At the same time while technology enhancements provide exciting new ways to share information and handle subject matter, computer and requisite data management systems are costly. Finally, if you have passed one of our schools when buses were arriving or departing, you can’t help but be impressed by the transportation demands that school administrators face in our largely rural communities.”

If you have suggestions for future Cafe Society topics or want more information about the Cafe Society program contact Austin at 304-876-0598 or michael.austin@frontiernet.net.