The September 1 edition of the Culpeper Star-Exponent reported (“Amid pandemic, Culpeper County Board almost pulls funding for public schools”) that Supervisor Tom Underwood proposed eliminating $2.5 million dollars from public education funding that had already been appropriated during the budget process.
According to the report, County Administrator John Egertson said that this move would shut down county government. The most amazing part of this dangerous proposal was that Underwood found two other supervisors who ultimately sided with him on it: Jack Frazier, Cedar Mountain District and Cathy Campbell, East Fairfax District.
All this, even though the fiscal coffers of the County are healthy and the school system is spending much more than planned in order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
While Mr. Underwood’s desire to help struggling families during this difficult public health emergency is laudable, his method misses the mark.
The county is awash in funds from the Federal CARES act. Close to $6 million has been directed to the town and county. It would be much more sensible to find creative ways to use these funds to directly aid families or offset other county expenses to free up money to do so.
Thankfully, we have a slim majority of Supervisors who did not agree with the minority on this issue. Let us also hope that the Supervisors can come up with creative uses for the remaining CARES funding that will help these students’ families who are faced with very difficult challenges.