The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 3, 2012

Board votes down resolution, supports budget cutbacks

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Sunday, December 2, 2012 — The Stanly County Board of Education met in a special session Tuesday night for the purposes of considering adopting a Sequestration Resolution.

The Sequester Replace-ment Reconciliation Act of 2012 will require extreme, broad cuts from all federal programs, including education and other non-defense programs. With budget cuts to schools, special education programs will be some of the first to go.

The school board met to vote on a resolution that would show its approval for blocking the Sequester Re-placement Reconciliation Act of 2012.

In order to entertain discussion of the matter, Board Member Jeff Chance made a motion to adopt the resolution and was seconded by Vice Chairperson Sandee Lambert.

“Everybody wants the government to cut spending, but not to their programs. I know I’ll receive cuts in my military benefits from this, but I’m willing to sacrifice for my grandchildren,” said Board Member Melvin Poole.

“I can’t support it [the resolution] in good conscience. We can’t ask for more money. I don’t know, maybe it sounds like heresy, but that’s what I think.”

According to Chief Financial Officer Bill Josey the cuts that would come from the county would be in the nature of $600,000-$700,000.

Board Member Chris Whitley commented that those sorts of cuts would result in numerous layoffs.

“You don’t slash and burn... You do it with the budget, you surgically decide what you’re going to fund. We need to do something. Everything needs to be cut,” Whitley said.

Board Member Mike Barbee expressed his concerns, saying that he had a problem with going along with the resolution. Also, he stated that he felt the resolution would be used for political lobbying.

“We have to talk about the issue. The citizens need to know what could happen. We’re not lobbyists, but our voices should be heard,” Chairperson Anita Owens-Scott said.

Owens-Scott relayed that some school districts had passed the resolution.

“Less than half have approved it, to my understanding,” Chance said.

After a close vote, the motion to pass the Sequestration Resolution did not carry.

The next regular school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.