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Those of you who are regular readers of this column might recall that I’ve written on a couple of occasions about the Bedford Primary School.
The point of those columns was to bemoan the absence of a gymnasium at that school.
Now I’m writing to bemoan the potential absence of the school itself. This is headier stuff. Certainly, any plans to shutter BPS outweigh concerns about it not having a gym.
Full disclosure: The wife is a regular volunteer at BPS and is a big fan of the school. I have also been a Lunch Buddy volunteer for four years. I started up with my lunch buddy at BPS. He’s now at Bedford Elementary.
The reason he’s at Bedford Elementary is because he graduated from second grade. The current crop of students at the school may see their beloved school shut down, and they’ll head to BES. In other words, their path to BES may become quite different.
Despite the actions of the County Board of Supervisors on Monday night, BPS is not out of the woods yet. That’s too bad, because it is a fine school.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know several of the staff members and teachers at Bedford Primary.
I’m not certain that you’ll find a more professional, dedicated and friendly group than you do when you enter the doors of BPS.
I am also certain that any proposal to close the school is not part of some sinister plot by the superintendent of schools, Dr. Douglas Schuch.
This man has been put into a quandary not of his making. He is the one taking some unfair poundings.
While I disagree with his proposals, I disagree with those who deem him anything less than a man who is trying to do the best with what he’s got.
This is a simple supply-and-demand equation. There is too great a demand for the limited supply of money that funds our education system here in Bedford.
Let’s take a bit more of a peek under the covers, though.
One of the reasons that the budgets are tapped out is because there has been steadfast refusal to raise taxes.
I’m not a big fan of giving more of my paltry paycheck to governmental bodies. I have never, though, seen such an opposition to taxes as what we have here.
If we continue to refuse to pay more in taxes, it is logical that we are bound to lose some government goods and services, particularly as they are affected by inflation and unfunded mandates.
Inflation is a fact of life. It means today’s dollar buys less than did yesterday’s. So, you get less than you used to.
Unfunded mandates are a fancy term for a higher level of government demanding that a locality do something, while making said locality pay for it.
Now, if your neighbor came to you and said, “I really like barbecue and you might, too. Therefore, I’m having a BBQ pit built on our property line,” you might not object. But, if that same neighbor had the bill sent to you, you might have some words (or worse) for that neighbor.
Why is it, then, that unfunded mandates from our state and federal governments are taken lying down? Why do we hesitate to fight these things?
Every dollar that goes toward mandates is a dollar that doesn’t go toward how WE want it spent.
Now, it warms my heart to see such a level of engagement in our democratic processes. In this age of social networking, people could be content to post clever screeds complaining about this or that. Then they could go back to watching You Tube flicks of dancing monkeys or some other inanity. Instead, people got active in this fight.
Getting things done in a democracy requires sweat equity and it requires involvement. The maxim of the squeaky wheel getting the grease is never truer than in this example that we are living today.
You have votes and you have voices. You have shown the power they hold.
You may well save BPS and its cafeteria of a gym.