Letters to the editor, Oct. 13
Hernando TodayTruth in numbers?
Published: October 13, 2012
Published: October 13, 2012
How insulting can the Obama puppets be as to come up with such an obviously false and misleading unemployment number as 7.8 percent. Only someone with less than two brain cells to rub together would believe this number.
Also, how can anyone be proud of even that number? It wasn't so long ago that a 5 percent unemployment rate was considered too high. Now we are supposed to celebrate having only one out of every twelve workers, who was previously gainfully employed, is now unemployed.
The 7.8 percent number doesn't count those who have given up looking for work, those whose unemployment insurance has run out, or those taking any part time job they can get. We also have uncounted numbers of high school and college graduates living with parents, who are not part of the count, and can't find employment.
Many owe tens of thousands of dollars on college loans, which will never be able to be repaid. No wonder we suddenly have so many people applying for disability benefits.
After being out of work for more than two years and not being able to pay bills or find employment, it's understandable someone becomes emotionally disabled.
Add to the above the so-called non-existent hyper-inflation we are now experiencing and we are at the beginning of having a social and financial meltdown worse than during the "Great Depression." The words "inflation" or "recession" will not even begin to describe what we are in for, because during the depression there was "deflation" and $7 a week was enough to live on.
With "stagflation," whether you are employed or not, most people will not be able to afford $8 for a gallon of gas or $5 for two potatoes. If you want to know the end result of high unemployment and hyper-inflation occurring together, just look at what is happening in Europe and you will see our future.
I don't know if four years are enough time for Mitt Romney to get us entirely out of the hole we have been digging for ourselves in the past four years, but I do believe he can at least stop the digging. What I do know for certain is that if Barack Obama is re-elected, we will not only dig the hole deeper, we will be jumping off a ten mile high cliff from which we will never recover.
We now need real "hope and change" from our President and it can only come from someone like Romney who has a proven track record of success in his past endeavors. It cannot and will not come from someone like Obama, who now has a proven track record of giving us "change" for the worse and little "hope" for the future. Our future destiny as nation will depend on who will lead us for the next four years and, if it is Obama, I do not believe we will remain a world power for very long.
When Bryan Blavatt arrived in 2010 to serve as Hernando County's school superintendent I was optimistic that someone with a legal background, and specifically, someone who had experience in his last position fighting for "equitable" school funding (for Boone County, Ky.) would be taking the helm.
Hernando County's schools have been underfunded for decades by the Florida Department of Education's flawed funding formula enacted in 1973 that consistently awards some counties more than $500 per capita over others.
According to the DOE's own data, Hernando County receives less funding per capita than Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Citrus and less funding than 61 of the state's 67 counties.
Consequently, Hernando residents pay a disproportionate amount of residential and commercial taxes toward the school system; funding that the state pays for neighboring counties. (How is Hernando supposed to attract new businesses with a school system that's so poorly supported?)
Shortly after he started work I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Blavatt, Desiree Henegar, the district's chief financial officer, and Sonia Jackson, assistant superintendent, in his office in August 2010 to discuss the funding problem.
He listened patiently as I expressed my frustration with the status quo and the failure, to date, of any Hernando school superintendent and school board to pursue equitable funding in Tallahassee.
Mr. Blavatt said there were a number of options the county could consider, but first, he said he wanted to set up a workshop for the board members to focus exclusively on the details and history of the funding formula. After that, he and the board would develop a strategy. It seemed like a logical, sound approach and we were all eager to move forward.
Apparently Mr. Blavatt lost interest. His staff restructuring proposals were rejected and he would eventually tell the media that the school board was "the most dysfunctional" group of people he ever encountered. Needless to say, the funding workshop never happened.
Our current school year began with teachers soliciting donations outside of Publix. Some schools give parents lists of supplies the teachers need... and many teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for things knowing they'll never be reimbursed. All schools are asked to do more with less.
While his tenure here could have been distinguished by leadership on the most substantive issue facing our schools, instead we have a superintendent on auto-pilot coasting into retirement.
Once again, the board must appoint a leader. And in the meantime Hernando residents should give careful consideration to the people they elect to serve on the board. We need board members who will take the time to listen to people who have a deep understanding of the formula and will be committed to resolving the funding inequity. And if we get a school superintendent who keeps his or her word, that would be welcome too.
Spring Hill, and member of the Challenger K-8 School SAC Committee