I am writing concerning the dire financial situation the Franklin County School board finds itself in. I fear the drastic methods under discussion to solve the problems may in the long term affect the curriculum offered and the students as well.
As a graduate of the public schools (1941) of Franklin County, I was a student during the great depression of th 1930's and the school year was only eight months long. The elected superintendent during my senior year was Dr. Ham who had a full-time dental practice. Dr Ham had a full-time secretary to help with his school job. I think school board members received $25 per meeting, but did not meet every month.
The point that I would like to make is that because of the severe depression, school expenses were carefully monitored to keep within the schools austere budget. As a result the curriculum was somewhat limited. For example, I was interested in medicine and applied for and was accepted at Emory. Two college courses required in college pre-med were chemistry and physics. These courses were not offered in high school in Apalachicola and when I entered college, I was at a serious disadvantage in that I had to compete with students who had learned the basics of these subjects in high school.
I sincerely hope that the curriculum in Franklin County School does not meet the same fate as that that occurred during the great Depression.
Schoolteachers’ salaries should not have to be cut because someone miscalculated the budgetary requirements. The ultimate responsibility to adequately fund the school should be the school board members. It would seem that they would be responsible to do their "homework" on budgetary matters before meetings. To quote President Harry Truman who said "that if the heat is too hot, get out of the kitchen!"
The teachers and the students did not create the problem and should not be punished for someone else's mistakes, and I sincerely hope that the curriculum will not be affected.