WTVM 5/16/14 Editorial: School district’s budget practices earn an A+

MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - It's rare when any bureaucracy, like a school district, takes responsibility to actually balance their budget and live with the money they have to spend and not the money they wish they had.

So it's refreshing that Muscogee County School Superintendent David Lewis is once again doing the right thing to right size our schools.

Layoffs are always painful - in any employment setting - because it changes people's lives.

But by giving school district employees adequate notice that cuts are coming, Superintendent Lewis is proving he is a leader by meeting a $10 million shortfall in funds with a detailed plan to make sure the district is spending on "needs" and not "wants."

The Superintendent's strategy is to be transparent and open.

His goals are clear: protect the reserve fund, eventually give teachers cost of living raises not seen since 2009, and make sure teachers are certified in the areas they teach.

By warning district employees now of potential layoffs, Lewis is being proactive to help those who will be chosen in the next few weeks, so they can look ahead and seize new opportunities elsewhere.

Resorting to layoffs is not an easy choice for Lewis and his administrative team, but it is a courageous one.

School district budgets are not just ideas; they are the very real function of managing the money it has to spend to pay rising expenses.

As every school child learns, 2 plus 2 equals 4 and for Muscogee County Schools, the current budget crunch adds up to a very difficult but necessary choice.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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