Taxation without Representation
I am writing this letter on behalf of parents who have no legal vote for Board of Education members in the County where their children go to school. When I was on the Logan County Board, I had a number of parents say they felt isolated and no representative to go to for their School problems, since they could not vote for Board of Education members in their child’s attendance county and could not run for the Office. Some lived in the Sharples-Blair area and others in the Harts area of Lincoln County.
This sharing of county’s schools began when Sharples’ schools were closed and parents obviously, wanting to keep their schools open stated “they did not want their children to cross Blair Mountain,” even though the Vocational Bus did every day. So the answer the Superintendent gave them was to send their children to the Boone County Schools. These parents cannot vote for Boone County Board Members, thus they were taxed by Logan County and had no Representation on the Boone County Board. The same is true of Hart’s area parents.
The SBA (School Building Authority) and politicians close down schools because of economy of scale, or student enrollment, but yet politicians increase the administrative bureaucracy in the RESA’s, State Board of Education, and County Central Offices. This wasteful bureaucracy would have been enough to keep some small schools open. The RESA’s consist of many retired Administrators-who become advisors to help school Administrators improve their schools?
Parents in Lincoln County (Harts area) must send their children to Logan County) Chapmanville Regional High School. The Harts Students were needed to get the enrollment for the school, so it could be built. Notice the word is Regional. No new school without these students!
The parents cannot vote for the Board Members in Logan County, but must send their children to Chapmanville, while they pay taxes in Lincoln County. The citizens in Logan County pay a levy tax, thus Logan County’s taxes support Lincoln County Students. The citizens in Boone County pay a Levy tax which supports Logan Counties Students.
In Logan County, some of the few remaining students in the Blair- Sharples area would like to have had a small bus to transport their children across Blair Mountain to the Logan Schools-around 20 minutes. I asked for this more than once when I was a Board Member, but was denied, but yet Logan County Schools loves the revenue from the Coal Mines in the area!
I had a parent to contact me about students in the Gilbert area who wanted to attend Man High School. I asked, but nothing happened. They wanted a bus to run to the area. This would have increased the enrollment at Man High School. At the time there were several students who were interested. Of course this would have decreased the enrollment of Mingo County Schools. The issue was travel time!
Did you know? Logan County Graduated less than 380 students last year-all high schools combined! I can remember Logan High having that number and much more!
What are the best interests of the children? Shouldn’t parents have representation with their vote? Isn’t this Taxation without Representation? I believe the ultimate decision is a State Constitutional one, but it does need addressed. The legislature can do it or the legal process might be needed. Parents who are required to send their children to a school outside their county should have voting rights and the same rights to run for the School Board as those in county. We hear children first, really!
Moss R. Burgess