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17 December 2008

Dear Obama, Send Money, Love Clayton County Schools

Since the Clayton County School System lost its accreditation, more than 3,000 students have left resulting in the loss of $23 million in state and federal funds.

We are losing any semblance of fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism in this country. We are seeing an ever-increasing national debt and budget deficit but still, the federal government is continuing to spend money it doesn't have.

In addition, because of state budget cuts to education, the tough economic times and reduced property tax revenue, the Clayton school system is facing a budgetary mess for the next fiscal year and they're looking for a lifeline to help them close the gap between revenues and expenses.

Local leaders first turned to Congressman David Scott, who represents the area, for help.

"We’re going to have a $23 million shortfall because we lost 3,000 kids. We can’t wait to educate children," state Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Jonesboro) said. "This is clearly, clearly a major need for this county." [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Clayton County: Leadership problems stymie federal funds", December 14, 2008]

The Congressman's office replied that while Scott can steer federal dollars to the school system for use in renovating schools and completing deferred maintenance, federal funds cannot be spent on offsetting budget cuts due to the loss of accreditation and a decline in enrollment.

So now, under the advice of the school system's chief financial officer, Clayton County is going to the White House with their hand out.

After being turned down for federal education aid, Clayton County school leaders say they will ask President-elect Barack Obama for money under his economic stimulus plan.

Roger Reese, the district’s chief financial officer, said, "We may be eligible for maintenance and operational funds under Barack’s economic stimulus plan."
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Clayton schools want money from Obama", December 16, 2006]

Nobody wants to see cuts to education, however, the question that always seems to come back into my head is when will the federal government stand up and say enough is enough.

Some of y'all have to sink and some of y'all have to swim.

We are losing any semblance of fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism in this country. We are seeing an ever-increasing national debt and budget deficit but still, the federal government is continuing to spend money it doesn't have.

When will the feds' pocketbook be closed? The answer continues to be not anytime soon.