Schools Keep $2.2 Million – Commissioners Vote 3-2 To Fund Request

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

Brad Childress had it figured out, and looked at County Commissioner Mark Jones as he and 17 other Davie residents asked the board to provide $9.5 million for school operating expenses – the same amount requested by the schools and recommended by County Manager Beth Dirks.
They got what they wanted.
Jones joined Commissioners Ken White and Richard Poindexter in approving the recommended budget after a public hearing last Thursday – a hearing before a packed district courtroom. Board Chair Carl Humphrey and Vice Chair Robert Wisecarver voted against the budget; they had gone to superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness asking for a check for $2.2 million from the school reserve fund or face a $2.2 million reduction in funding from the county.
White was the only commissioner to offer comments after the hearing and vote.
“This was powerful and it was also unnecessary,” White said. “Our education system has always been the pride of the Piedmont.”
White called it an issue of integrity. The schools submitted a budget that was exactly what the county had asked for.
In the past several years, the schools have cut 74 positions through retirement and attrition, saving some $2.5 million, White said. “It’s like they’re being bashed … like they have hoarded something and kept it from the taxpayers. They are doing what they said they would do. I’m proud of them. They did the right thing.”
White praised Hartness and …