Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2007

County’s budget ‘package’
too much for many taxpayers
The huge revaluation this year had county administrators seeing $$s just a few months ago. Then there were the education lottery dollars that never materialized as promised.
In 2006 I appealed the “market price” of our property with an appraisal saying the property was worth $34,000 less than the assessed value. I thought the appraisal was a valuable tool, but it was useless. The property value was lowered by $5,000.
This year, it was reassessed at an amazing $46,000 over last year! Again, I filed an appeal, but it was denied a few days prior to the deadline to file for a hearing. I did not have another appraisal with which to argue, anyway.
Everywhere we turn we are paying more taxes! The first time my son had to pay property taxes on his car, he asked me why. He said, “I’m the one who paid for it, not them!” Such logic, coming from a young man just starting out on his American dream.
I would like to handle my budget as the county commissioners do. I would decide how much money I need for the coming year and present that “package” to my employers, informing them of the amount I will need for the year. That, in essence, is what Rowan County does. And that is with huge layoffs by the county’s largest employer and a large elderly population on fixed incomes. Gasoline is at an all-time high, and food prices are jumping.
There are some affluent residents in Rowan County who wish to support the school bond by paying higher taxes, and I applaud their intentions. I believe I’m speaking for a lot of taxpayers who are not able to hand over their hard earned money quite so easily.
ó Linda Blymyer
Too little teaching in schools
The June 12 article about the writing test scores of Rowan-Salisbury schools sparked many issues I have with the school system. A graduate of East Rowan High in 2004, I have firsthand experience with the quality of teaching instruction in the system. Since graduating from college, I now realize how truly disadvantaged and unprepared I was for college.
You wonder why 50 percent of the school system is not writing proficient. It is because they have not been properly instructed. Granted, superb teachers do exist, but there are very few. I cannot tell you how much it irks me to have sat in class while a teacher put in a video because the teacher gave a test the day before or simply did not want to instruct. A child goes to school to gain a quality education, not for entertainment.
I know that teachers have a difficult job, forcing students to do assignments that they do not enjoy. However, this is your job. Watching videos and promoting slack behavior is failing them.
I commend Southeast Middle School and its staff. Over the years, I have watched my youngest brother go through school there, and while he certainly did not enjoy the three-month-long projects, I know that he will be more prepared for higher education than I was. The teachers at his school are truly innovative and push these kids’ minds to the limit, which deserves praise.
I realize that the parents and children have to hold up their end as well, but the root is at the instruction ó or lack of. Quit showing videos and quit having “cultural experiences” (bringing in bean dip for Spanish class ó for a grade of course). By not teaching during school hours you are only doing a disservice to your students and their futures.
ó Meghan Free
Chapel Hill