To the Editor,
Recently, an article in The Robesonian highlighted a report given by Jason Suggs, the county school system’s athletic director, in which Suggs indicates a large disparity in athletic spending at the county’s high schools between 2008 and 2014.
For the past week, I have been trying to determine the goal of the report. With recent updgrades to the weight room, press box, and soccer fields at Lumberton High, it is not surprising that indeed more money has been spent at this school than others in the past six years. But that is the only valid conclusion that can be drawn from the report.
My guess is that if the numbers for other periods of time were given, the results might look different. It seems odd that spending numbers prior to 2008 are not available to determine if my assumption is correct. Regardless, I for one have no reason to think that our school board is showing favortism for one school over another. All of our schools were built at different times and the needs those schools have for improving facilities will also occur at different times.
It is my hope that as those needs arise, each school will solicit the help not only of the school board, but also of local community leaders and supporters. I also encourage the school board to maintain a position of spending money wisely. The fact that one school receives funds for needed projects does not automatically necessitate the distribution of funds to other schools. Funding decisions should be made based on the benefit to the students and (of course) the ability to pay for the improvements.
To the school board, thank you for allocating the funds that have been received at Lumberton High. The improved facilities should instill a sense of pride in students, teachers, parents, and the community. At the same time, I am thankful for the funds that have been allocated to other schools at different times to help those students succeed in the classroom and on the field.