Senate Leader Berger's Local Public Schools Don't Have Toilet Paper, Other Basics
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Rockingham County Public Schools are facing a funding crisis, with many of the schools lacking even the most basic supplies for their students. Schools are reporting shortages of textbooks, printing paper, or even toilet paper. Not surprisingly, these funding issues can be traced back to the reduction in state support of public education over the last few years. The same cuts that Senator Berger, who represents Rockingham County, has championed.
Frustrated parents have even taken to social media to voice their concerns,
I received a letter stating that there was no money to make copies, therefore my (first) grader would have no more homework packets being sent home this year!” wrote a Rockingham County Schools parent on Facebook.
Another parent wrote: “At Central Elementary, some classes do not even have (textbooks) and the school has already run out of printing capacity.”
EDEN — A bathroom that doesn’t have toilet paper.
A classroom lacking textbooks.
A copy machine without paper.
In some Rockingham County schools, there’s not enough money to buy these — and other things.
When that was revealed last week during a meeting of the Rockingham County Board of Education, it came as a shock to some and a surprise to others.
The news overshadowed what had been a moment of pride for the school system. An audit of its 2013-14 budget showed that the school system was in “excellent” shape despite a few discrepancies.
The audit said the issues were caused by oversight, failure to keep timely bookkeeping records and pass appropriate budget resolutions.
But while those appear to be easy things to deal with, the issues involving a lack of textbooks and toilet paper point to a problem whose solution isn’t as forthcoming.
The school system is in a money crunch.
According to Chief Financial Officer Parker Turpin, janitorial supplies are being paid for through money budgeted for electricity.
Superintendent Rodney Shotwell said in an interview last week that he will use money from other areas before allowing school and janitorial supplies to be depleted.
“We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Turpin said last week.
At Monday’s meeting, Shotwell said several staff members are looking for a warehouse to collect donations for school supplies from the community.