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Pre-K funding woes
The March 6, 2014, News and Advance had a front page story concerning changes to Pre-k funding.
The Lynchburg and Bedford school systems could lose almost 100 slots for Pre-K students due to this change. I have a solution to ease the funding woes. Both localities have a number of existing high-quality private Pre-schools that could educate those students at a significant savings compared to the public schools.
Many of the private preschools already have the classrooms and educational materials needed because they have been losing students due to the “free” programs in the public schools. Class sizes would likely be smaller in the private programs.
The public school programs are much more expensive because they pay much higher wages and benefits than private schools. This situation seems to be the perfect trial for using vouchers to permit parents to spend those education dollars at the school of their choice. Parents see the results first hand and are therefore best qualified to judge the quality of the school.
What honesty means
James Welch died Tuesday of this week. He was a plumber who lived in Bedford. We were one of his customers.
It would be remiss of me to only say he was so good at what he did. It’s true. James was a skilled plumber who knew his craft well.
But he was more than that...He taught us what honesty means,what reliability means and most importantly, what doing the right thing means.
You see, James made himself available at all hours when someone was having any kind of plumbing, well or water issues. He came to our house once at 9:30 on a Friday evening to fix a broken water pipe from a bathroom that was pouring through our ceiling.
As his other customers would agree, James always had a story to tell. We knew him for years and heard many of them. Stories of our fellow citizens getting ripped off by unscrupulous real estate agents or just plain shoddy work by other plumbers. James was the one to call when you wanted to know if that well on the property you were about to buy really worked.
Whenever we have any kind of work done at our house, I measure the person’s or company’s results by comparing them to James.
Were they reliable? Did they fix the problem? Did they charge a fair price? Were they honest? It’s tough measuring anyone’s work performance to James. He set the bar high. He was a good and honest man of exceptional character.
I wanted to thank residents of Bedford to whom I gave samples to over many years in WalMart, Food Lion and Kroger for making living in Bedford most enjoyable and of course my friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Due to a major change in my life, I could no longer continue to live in my Bedford County house on my own. I have moved back to Lexington, the city I first lived in when moving from New York to Virginia to be close to my family and enjoy city living with a thermostat, trash and recycle pick-up and mailbox only 10 feet from my front door.