Edgecombe nixes school deal – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Watch Dog response: This is good to me because the whole mess makes no sense. They need to leave the whole mess alone and let the system stand as is.

TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners killed a deal Tuesday to stave off a split of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools.

A joint committee made up of officials from Nash and Edgecombe counties developed a possible solution last week to a school funding dispute that would prevent the dissolution of the county-city school system.

Edgecombe commissioners voted 4-3 along racial lines against a compromise proposed by the Nash County Board of Commissioners. Chairman Leonard Wiggins and Commissioners Greg Hines, Viola Harris and Evelyn Powell voted against the proposal with Edgecombe Vice Chairman Johnathan Felton and Commissioners Billy Wooten and Donald Boswell voting in favor of the compromise. The deal called for Edgecombe to agree to a name change of the school system and a provision prohibiting the Nash-Rocky Mount school board from filing a funding lawsuit. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

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Nash-Rocky Mount School Split Mess – These Letters Speak Volume

The whole mess about this school split is just ignant. Mess need to be put to an end! Do you see Nash County going bankrupt or for the most part struggling economically?

The problem is: Politics – I Refuse To Play It Safe Rocky Mount School Split Who Is Behind It?


Click on links to read letters you will be glad that you did.

Nash Rocky Mount Schools Split Controversy: Letter to Editor by Pastor James D. Gilliard

Letter to the Editor: Progress on school system is encouraging; press on to find solution –– As the new plant manager at Cummins here in Rocky Mount, I am deeply concerned about the future of our local school corporation. JOHN JUDD Rocky Mount

Letter to the Editor: Don’t let divisiveness over schools fester in Rocky Mount community.

Letter to the Editor: Why push for schools split against wishes of city, mayor and board?

Letter to the Editor: Commissioners should reconsider schools split plan

Letter to the Editor: Business leaders urge commissioners to reconsider school split plan

Letter to the Editor: Nash commissioners should learn the value of compromise

Letter to the Editor: City residents aren’t overburdened by funding Edgecombe schools

Nash Rocky Mount Schools Split Controversy: Letter to Editor by Pastor James D. Gilliard

The Watch Dog: agree totally with this letter. Fabuloustastic!

I am writing to express an independent, informational, and intellectual view of the
current threat to the Nash Rocky Mount Public School system. As a politically
unaffiliated, bi-racial pastor to over 3,000 people (including 1,100 K-12 children
active in Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools), I am quite vested in this issue. As is the
case with most political decisions, it is easy for the emotion of any subject to veer us
away from sound decisions that are in the best interest of all involved.

Taxes and The Common Good
Everyday as Americans and North Carolinians, our property, sales and utility taxes
are used to fund programs, services, institutions, and infrastructure that we either
benefit from directly or indirectly. Nash County residents may not directly benefit
from the funding formula that supplements the education of children living in
Edgecombe County, but do benefit indirectly as there is a link between education
and job creation for a region.
• I have yet to make a call to 911 or to use ambulance services since I have
lived here, as I am certain many of you reading this also have not, yet millions
of tax dollars are earmarked for these vital emergency services.
• Most of my books are electronic, so I never go to the public library, yet taxes
are used for this critical public institution.
• There are many residents of Nash County who have never used the highways
or buildings their taxes help build.
• There are retirees who have never had a child in the school system, yet a
portion of their taxes and utilities are used to supplement the funding of our
school system.

I doubt the Nash County Commissioners who are aggressively asking for a “fairness
of funding” want to establish a precedent of an “al-a-carte” taxation system where
we all get to direct our taxes only to the services from which we directly benefit and
away from those which we indirectly benefit.
It seems that a reminder of our origin as a nation is appropriate. The manifesto on
American Capitalism is Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”, where he explained
that human involvement in economics is to “advance the interests of the society.” To
follow this new ideology being espoused by the Nash County Commissioners would
mean the GI Bill that enabled 10 million Americans to receive housing and education
benefits would have never been funded. Anything that is good and necessary for a
civilized society to thrive, like public education, is good for us all.

Collateral Damage
The removal of 1,800 children from the Nash Rocky Mount Public School system has
a potential consequence for which none of us, particularly the Nash County
Commissioners, are prepared. Eighteen hundred children equates to 12.5% of the
current NRMPS system. Any businessperson will tell you that reducing any
institutional capacity by 12.5% results in a ripple effect and like throwing a pebble
in the water you never know how many ripples will be created. Here are some
potential ripples:
Reduction of Title I, II, and III Federal Funding. It has been wrongly
communicated by the Nash County Commissioners that “the funding will
follow the students.” This is only partially true. The funding is both volume
and percent weighted. Funding will follow, but it will be much smaller
funding. There will also be a delay in this smaller funding as it is awarded in
blocks of 24 – 30 months, so services will need to be offered to children
without any funding being immediately available. This funding effects direct
services of children as well as professional development of teachers. The
anticipated loss to the remaining NRMPS system could be as high as $10
million annually. This is a classic example of voting against one’s own
interests as all the remaining children will live in Nash County and this will
create a net loss to the very system they claim to represent.
Loss of Existing Jobs. Reducing the capacity of NRMPS will require reorganization
and the inevitable loss of jobs to teachers and support staff. In
laymen’s terms, every 10 students create a job. The simple math of the
impending legislation by Representative Jeff Collins (at the request of the
Nash County Commissioners) could easily result in the loss of 180 jobs. It
seems our elected officials could better use their time creating jobs and not
removing jobs. The argument that those teachers would simply move to the
Edgecombe County School System is implausible as there are still over 50
licensed teacher vacancies within that system and for many teachers living in
Spring Hope, Middlesex, and Bailey, it would be just as close to drive to a
school in Wake County as it would some schools within Edgecombe County.
Loss of Support to Teachers and Staff. Aside from being a pastor I do not
know of a more difficult profession than teaching. We as a community should
be actively advocating for our teachers in the classroom and the principals
and staff that support this vital public institution. Instead, our
Commissioners are deliberately creating an environment that is filled with
contention and division rather than support and encouragement. Everyone
cares about job security and high morale and our teachers deserve no less.
Loss of New Jobs. Education along with Transportation, Health, Leisure,
Quality of Life, Taxes, and Housing remain major recruitment tools for new
companies and emerging economies. Dismantling our school system will
greatly harm our efforts in attracting new companies and in establishing the
“twin counties” as a “bedroom” community for those working in Raleigh,
Durham, and Chapel Hill. This inability to bring new companies and firms to
our community will hinder our ability to expand our tax base and to produce
an even greater economic impact to our region.
Re-classification of Athletic Programs. Rocky Mount Senior High alone
will likely lose 400-450 students. This loss to the ADM (Average Daily
Membership) will result in less competitive athletics and a loss of college
scholarships for countless young people for whom sports remain a viable
opportunity for a secure future due to a potential change in division status.
School Closing. There has been no study conducted by the Nash County
Commissioners ensuring there would be no school closings as elected
officials are not generally trained in the logistics and technicalities in the
actual running of a school system. Conventional wisdom at least forces us to
consider that by reducing the NRMPS by 1,800 students, it may not be
financially feasible to continue operations at the same level. This is
particularly the case since the NRMPS system is experiencing a five-year
decline in enrollment with a proven history that reduced capacity results in
school closings. An educated guess based upon school size and location
would deduce that Northern Nash High School could possibly close due to
this legislation.
The Children. It is said that often we leave the best for last. Who is
advocating for our children? Yes, as North Carolinians, ALL the children are
OUR children. We are a community. We are a region. When I moved here
from Philadelphia 11 years ago, I was introduced to the “twin counties.”
What a way to treat your twin! 1,800 children moving out of NRMPS is more
children than Camden, Gates, Clay, Swain, and Washington County Schools
have enrollment. This is equivalent to an entirely new and different school
system being created with no plan, no structure, and no infrastructure. It is
setting ALL of OUR kids up to fail as the remaining NRMPS kids will be faced
with the sobering reality that it was their parents who stripped down the
ability of the NRMPS system to meet the categorical needs of the children in
programs like IB, AP, AIG and ESL. The education of our children should be a
collective concern. We must endeavor to provide every child in our region
and our state with every opportunity to advance and to actively contribute
back to society.

I invite all of us to use our heart and our brain as we make decisions. My heart is for
ALL of our children and my brain tells me the loss of 180 jobs, the net loss of
millions of dollars to our school system, the potential closing of a school, and the
loss of college athletic scholarships is hardly worth the savings we as Nash County
residents will realize. It is my hope an agreement will be reached but despite the
outcome, we should all agree that no group of people should be allowed to play
politics with our children.

James D. Gailliard
Nash County Resident
Pastor, Word Tabernacle Church

Politics – I Refuse To Play It Safe Rocky Mount School Split Who Is Behind It?

I have been actively engaged in politics since the late 80’s and I have seen the way issues and people are dealt with. Folk don’t want to call it like it is because they are either scared and/or want to just simply play it safe while nothing changes.

I represent the everyday folk those who don’t know what is going on and when they hear sound bites on the TV and hearing folk talk amongst them as they come and go, they simply don’t understand what the real is at hand and who the folk are that are truly the problem. This is because some don’t want to stir up yep that’s right, but they act as if they want to see change. Well change do not come by chance but by only by fighting. The only way to fight is to fight with calling out the trues so that folk can know what they are up against. One can’t fight if they don’t have a personal interest in a fight. Folk without a personal interest in a fight will simply choose to just walk away but not knowing that they are going to be beat down when they should have been told why they were going to be beat down by the folk in the know.

I have said this before, when the Rocky Mount City Council was about to become a black majority it was reported in a Common Ground Meeting that the white powers that be said that if the Rocky Mount City Council became a black majority that they would move out of Rocky Mount. They said the council would be a black majority but the white powers that be would have the money. Well they have been fighting this black majority council since they took office. It reminds me of the same situation when we voted in the 1st Black President, the Ignant Racist White Folk have been fighting him from day one til now although he is on the way out of office. But the difference with the city council they can’t seem to get these guys voted out and the main thing is they can serve until voted out unlike the President has term limits.

How the talk of the split came about. Nash County Commissioner Robbie Davis white male brought it out. He is the spokesperson for the powers that be some white and some black. Robbie and friends have a problem with the Rocky Mount City Council so they do not want the black majority city council to appear that they are doing all they can to make Rocky Mount a better place to live, work and play. Thanks to the whites on the council who are trying to do what is best for all folk in Rocky Mount but not not limited to. Davis and friends do not want the Rocky Mount City Council at the table so when you are not at the table you are on the menu. Davis and friends do not want the Rocky Mount City Council to give money towards the school system making up the gap difference from which the monies come from Edgecombe County Public Schools so they try to scare the hell out of folk in Rocky Mount by trying to paint a picture of what is and what ain’t a problem. The school situation as is only problem is that the schools on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount has been neglected while the schools on the Nash side has been kept up and/or new schools have been built.

In the beginning all of the Nash Commissioners even the Democrats Fred Belfield, Lou Richards and Mary Wells voted along with Robbie and the other Republicans. Then after some folk questioned the Democrats they spoke out that they were against. But then recently Belfield came up with a plan but was rejected so the vote was all in favor again. But the most recent is now the Belfield and the 2 other Democrats say they didn’t get all of the information and felt they were pushed to agree with Robbie and crew so they sent out a press release stating such. But why did they vote again with Robbie and crew if they felt like they were forced to.

Folk it is not about the school split. It is about POWER!

Oh but folk don’t want to talk about these trues and want to beat around the bush. This is why it takes so long for change because folk don’t say what they mean and mean what they say. Well I ain’t the one!

Now Run & Tell That!

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools & Edgecombe County Public Schools Split Conversation

This mess was started by Robbie Davis Nash County Commissioner. Why? Do some research.

The city of Rocky Mount can not be one county so that is not an option.

Nash is progressive on the backs of the folk who live on the Edgecombe side that have to go over there to shop.

Don’t understand the part about Edgecombe wants to do more for Tarboro when the chair of the Edgecombe County Commissioners live in the city limits of Rocky Mount Leggett Road as a matter of fact.

Don’t understand the part about the city does more for Nash than Edgecombe since the present council. The present council came in and revealed why the Edgecombe side has been left behind.

My problem with this is since Nash County got the damn bond referendum money from Edgecombe and didn’t spend the money on the schools on the Edgecombe side then they ought to be made to pay it back. Oh they paying it back by saying now is the time for us to send them black children to Edgecombe County Public Schools.

And then you get a Safe Negro to push the agenda.

Hell this is a white folk agenda let them push their own agenda.

But just my ignant opinion though!

Edgecombe superintendent slams schools split

The Watch Dog response: This is just ignant! This is racist mentality from a Nash County Commissioner who brought this mess to the table.

TARBORO — Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent John Farrelly is not happy about the prospects of a county line split of schools in Nash and Edgecombe counties, a move that would bring roughly 2,000 more students into the Edgecombe fold.

“We have been talking about this issue off and on for about two years,” Farrelly said, “and I have yet to see a report about the impact a potential split would have on kids or their education,” Farrelly told members of the Edgecombe County Board of Education at Monday’s school board meeting.

Farrelly said he approaches the idea with “great trepidation,” even though some people in favor of the plan to split the system keep mentioning the roughly $10 million in additional funding Edgecombe County Public Schools would receive if 2,000 more students were added to the system. (Source: Read more)

Abandon plans to split school system; reopen talks with Edgecombe – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: I agree with this letter.

As the Rocky Mount Telegram and many others have said: It is in everyone’s interest to solve our school funding problem before the state legislature intervenes, and no one benefits from dividing Rocky Mount between the two county districts.

It is clear that Edgecombe County’s current contribution to the school budget is correct, according to the 1992 law. It is also probably true that this leaves Nash residents with a disproportionate financial burden, which four Nash commissioners say is unfair.

But what is “fair?” Edgecombe is considerably poorer than Nash. To require it to pay a strictly proportional share of the budget is unfair, because its financial hit would be much more severe than for Nash. Until recently, Edgecombe has been reluctant to increase its financial commitment.

Some in Nash, therefore, want the legislature to repeal the 1992 law and divide the school system by county. (Source: Read more)