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The Covington News - - Opinion -

Cuts un­wanted, but needed

There is no ques­tion that since the day last sum­mer that Dr. Gary Mathews took the reins of the Newton County Schools Sys­tem that he has been off and run­ning at full gal­lop.

Dur­ing that time, he has main­tained an open-door pol­icy and kept all stake­hold­ers in­formed of his in­ten­tions on how best to put the school sys­tem on a strong fis­cal foot­ing.

Mathews has reached out to the com­mu­nity and spoke to civic clubs like the Ro­tary and Ki­wa­nis. He’s been re­fresh­ingly can­did in dis­cus­sions of the state of our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem here in Newton County.

This past week he re­leased a list of po­ten­tial bud­get cuts needed to make up for losses in state fund­ing and in money gen­er­ated lo­cally through prop­erty taxes.

If you missed that story, it can be seen at cov­news.com and there are fol­low-ups on the su­per­in­ten­dant’s pro­pos­als in to­day’s paper.

Make no mis­take, cuts in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem are the last things that most of us want. But as with life in your house­hold, cuts must be made when the pay­check doesn’t cover ev­ery­thing that you want or need.

We have said this be­fore: We have con­fi­dence in Dr. Mathews’ at­tempt to sta­bi­lize and then grow our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

We hope that ev­ery tax­payer in the county takes the time to read and un­der­stand what is hap­pen­ing with our schools.

Your voice and ac­tions are nec­es­sary to help re­store the Newton County school sys­tem to the rank­ings it once en­joyed.

We will not have pos­i­tive eco­nomic growth in this county un­less we have a first-rate ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to sup­port it.

Trail­blaz­ers

Idle time and hun­gry bel­lies can lead good kids to do bad things. That’s why the Rev. Hezekiah Benton of Beth­le­hem Bap­tist Church and church mem­ber Hazel Bo­stick got their church in­volved in start­ing a youth feed­ing and en­rich­ment pro­gram two decades ago. Ms. Bo­stick has since passed away, but the pro­gram con­tin­ues to serve kids in need.

On Sun­day, the pro­gram was hon­ored as the re­cip­i­ent of the MLK Trail­blazer Award. The award is be­stowed each year to a per­son or group that makes a dif­fer­ence in the lives of cit­i­zens of Newton County.

It’s a high honor, and well de­served. Thanks much to the Rev. Benton and to his con­gre­gants for all they do to keep this min­istry go­ing.

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