Students in Craven County Schools returned to the classroom on Monday, marking the first day of the 2014-15 school year.
While the kids were out enjoying their summer vacations, those in leadership positions in our educational system most likely didn’t enjoy their breaks. Let’s face it: The educational system — both locally and in the state — would have probably received a failing grade for their performances over the summer. It seemed politics got in the way of doing what is best for children.
Locally, Craven County Schools administrators came clean on a $255,000 mistake. It seems someone in the central office failed to properly fax a federal funding grant request — and worse yet — never bothered to double check that the information was properly received. The error cost the system about $255,000.
The governor, state house and state senate got into arguments about teacher pay raises. Though the teachers did receive them, longevity bonuses were cut, and other cuts may result in fewer teacher assistants — though exactly the benefits or the problems with what the General Assembly did is likely tied to your political party affiliation.
On top of that, we had a court ruling on the state’s school voucher program and a rejection of common core standards — and again your opinions on those are most likely tied to your party affiliation.
But the contentious summer must be put to rest. Despite all the political battles and controversies, the most important part of the process is at hand. It’s time to get back to educating our children.
The political battles fought over education directly relate to its importance. Along with providing for our defense as a nation, guaranteeing our future through the education of our children is probably one of the most important roles our government has. That may be why the battles seem to be so fierce.
But we do know one thing: Teachers and principals want the best for their students. And when parents give their support to the teachers and principals and stress the importance of education to their children, we as a society benefit — despite all the past battles and the ones that will no doubt come in our future.