It is entirely by coincidence that the Columbia County Board of Education opens discussion of its gloom-and-doom budget options for next year during national Teacher Appreciation Week.
On a week in which educators are celebrated, far too many of them are feeling threatened by ever-tightening budgets and increasingly bureaucratic demands that have little or nothing to do with teaching children.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine a profession feeling less appreciated these days, when often the first step toward balancing budgets is to hack at teachers’ pay – directly through furloughs or indirectly with ever-rising health-care premiums.
It’s a credit to retiring Columbia County School Superintendent Charles Nagle that he opposes using furloughs to balance next year’s budget. It would be an even greater credit to the parents of Columbia County if they’d make it clear to their school board members they expect their teachers to be appreciated not just this week, but year-round – and that they adopt a budget that reflects it.