The Supreme Court ruled this week that the HOPE Scholarship could go forward. The decision was not unanimous. Two of the Justices did not agree so the matter passed on a 3-2 vote. I normally don’t question the high court, but I certainly don’t agree with this decision. It also appears that there was some conflicts of interest. I have read that two justices had personal interests in the advancement of such schools and probably should have recused themselves.
This move will take over $14 million from the public education system this year. The state legislature supermajority has not come up with a means of replenishing that funding. In addition, the number will grow substantially by 2025 when more will be allowed to exit public education. I cannot help but truly believe this is bad policy that could very well devastate the education of the majority of the children of our state.
You will read in a front-page account in this issue that Monday, while students were absent from school, first responders of our county trained for what everyone hopes and prays will never happen… an active shooter at one of our schools.
The article was not easy to come by. For more than four decades this publication would have been included in the planning of an exercise such as this, so that we could better educate our citizens. However, that was not the case this time. We found out almost by accident and then was told that we shouldn’t or couldn’t cover it. That answer was simply not acceptable. Our readers and the citizens have a right to know, and we take our role in that process very seriously.
Fortunately, some involved know the value of positive publicity and cooperated with us. I thank Sgt. Andy Shingler and Sgt. Brandon Smith for their assistance.
I will also say that while none of us like to think such a tragedy could or would happen here… it is reassuring that those who have to deal such matters are prepared. Improved readiness is comforting to this grandparent and I hope it serves as a deterrent to any deranged individual that might have such evil thoughts.
On a more positive note. It was “take the boats out of the water” weekend. While it was rather cold, the wind wasn’t blowing, and our lake family managed to complete our tasks. We took six boats to their winter home on Saturday and the final four Sunday. God’s beauty was abundant Sunday morning as I stood on the bank watching a boat headed to the launch ramp, steam coming from the water, the fall trees in the background, the low hanging clouds and the bright sunshine illuminating the mountain top. Certainly, was a good way to end a nice summer… or wait… I still have the dreaded task of winterizing and covering the boats before the snow flies.