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Letters: Jonesborough school plan is shell game

Johnson City Press • Feb 16, 2020 at 5:00 AM

With Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked our readers for their thoughts on the recent education funding sharing arrangement proposed by Washington County and Johnson City. Here are some of the responses we received.

Jonesborough funding is shell game

State statutes clearly state that money borrowed for new school construction must be shared with other public school systems in the same county based on student enrollment numbers.

It’s appalling that Washington County Commissioners are attempting to avoid state law by getting Jonesborough aldermen to apply for USDA funding for a county school to avoid providing equal funding for county students who choose to attend city schools. It’s nothing more than a shell game.

The Johnson City school board members that I have talked with are in total disbelief of the despicable action that Jonesborough aldermen have undertaken to undermine Johnson City Schools. It appears Johnson City Commissioners have also sold out to the scam by refusing to let the school board challenge Jonesborough’s underhanded actions in court. Jonesborough residents will be building a $32 million school, yet they have no school system! Shameful!

It’s generally understood that as you get older you should get wiser. Well, that doesn’t apply to the state’s oldest town. I’m certainly going to let the U.S. Department of Agriculture know what is going on. Surely the USDA won’t make a loan to a town with no school system.

PETER PADUCH
Johnson City

City should pay extra for education

I think the deal is good, but this is what happens when you have special school districts.

The county can’t afford to pay for duplicates all the time. If the city wants to continue to have a “special school district” then they should pony up the “special cash” to pay for it.

SHON HOLMAN
Johnson City

Here are some letters we received covering other topics important to our readers.

Treasure the symphony

After attending the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Johnson City Symphony on Saturday night, I thought that this was perhaps the best performance I’ve ever attended. There was something for everyone: opera, ETSU Bluegrass Gospel group, truly professional jazz band, amazing men’s singing group and the fabulous Johnson City Symphony!

All of the professional performers put hours and hours of practice in for each event and receive very little, if any, financial reward. They drive their own vehicles to and from practices, events etc. Some come from as far away as Knoxville.

The final product is always breathtaking! Good, clean, wholesome, family entertainment!

I can only imagine the work that went into the production of this event. We should be forever indebted to Milligan College for allowing this to be held in Seeger Chapel, which is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Very few people live in an area that is fortunate enough to have a local symphony of this caliber. There shouldn’t have been an empty seat! But there were far too many!

It’s a shame our area businesses, corporations and the general public don’t support the JCSO more.

If we don’t wake up, this wonderful gift that God has given us will be gone!

Pure and simple folks, the expenses and revenue aren’t looking favorable.

There is a very real possibility that the Symphony will cease to exist. We can’t count on letting someone else do it anymore. The day of reckoning is approaching fast!

Please don’t let the JCSO be something that is relegated to the history books.

MICHAEL BARKER
Abingdon, Va.

Economy built on debt

President Trump is given credit for a strong economy and low unemployment.

That is like looking at your neighbor's new car and thinking they are doing pretty good when really they are up to their neck in debt. Our seemingly good economy is built on a mountain of deficit spending that our kids and grandkids will be paying off for decades.

The national debt is $22 trillion, that is $65,600 for every citizen, including you and your kids. Do you plan to pay off your share or add it to your kids' share? If you support tax cuts then you plan to leave it for your kids. Can you read this letter to your kids?

Bruce Dalton
Johnson City

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