Editor Notes: FBC welcomes back Mr. Kirk Smith. Starting today, each Friday and Wednesday we will feature one of the Herald/LEED Pac forum questions under the new "Smith Series". First question is below Mr. Smith's intro below. Enjoy!
Intuitive Commentary by Lee Co's Newest Commissioner...Mr. Kirk Smith
I asked Sheila's permission to run a series of blog postings – to answer the questions put forth by the sponsors of the LEED-PAC & Sanford Herald forum.
Needless to say, the three Republican Candidates knew full well the purpose of this forum was nothing more than to give the LEED-PAC sound bites and responses in order to run attack ads with the Herald, our local radio, and television stations. Either way with our attending or not, the LEED-PAC strategists had on their hands a win-win scenario. We were right.
For those of you paying attention to this last election cycle, you probably noticed that during the primaries, the LEED-PAC endeavored to keep the “good-ole boy” network in charge of the Lee County Commission and the Board of Education. Surprisingly, they ran ads disparaging the military career of LTC Womack by assigning him as the sole person in charge of the “Womack Militia.” Maligning any professional soldier with the pejorative “militia” is clearly an insult and no doubt was the intent by the LEED-PAC masterminds. Don’t forget, Lee County would like to attract military families to our community. How will that work out when you have so-called community leaders disparaging the military as they did?
The truth came out on May 7th during the public comments at the commission meeting when Mr. Keith Clark kept referring to the “Jimmy McVeigh” (maybe or maybe not) realizing his “Freudian Slip” was associating LTC James Womack, with the mass murdering Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City.
Furthermore the LEED-PAC ads reflected upon this “militia” and the “Womack Tax” in a way that some how empowers the Lee County Commission with raising the taxes of Sanford and Broadway? Of course those not familiar with the windfall that Sanford city gets from the sales tax distribution, would fall for the so-called “Womack Tax.” How can a proposed tax-cut for ALL of Lee County citizens be disparaged as the “Womack Tax?” Then again Progressives like to distort the truth!
Any way, enjoy the next series of responses to the questions put forth by our LEED-PAC Friends. As always, I shall remain, In Search of our GOD Given Liberties!
Question #1: Education
As a Lee County Commissioner, you will be able to have considerable impact on our public schools through the budget process. Education, including community college and public schools funding, makes up nearly 40 percent of the county’s annual expenditures. With that in mind, and with the recent data from the Lee County Schools showing that we now lead in our Multi-County region in scoring for “all student demographics,” and acknowledging our region-leading graduation rate, how would you rate Lee County Schools’ overall performance? In what areas do you think LCS has performed well or not well? And if we have not performed well in other areas, under what circumstances would you vote to increase funding for our public schools? (2 min.)
ANSWER: I noticed you enjoy touting the “recent data from the Lee County Schools showing that we now lead in our Multi-County region in scoring for all student demographics and acknowledging our region-leading graduation rate.” That said, you fail to acknowledge that “social promotion” does nothing but improve the “self-esteem” of the failing student and contributing to the continual “dumbing-down” our kids. During the early 80’s I was an Army Recruiter in North east Ohio, then and there I learned that a “high school” diploma means absolutely nothing when a student could not pass the minimum requirements to join the Army. That minimum required at least a 9th grade reading level. Today, 40% of graduates from Lee County Schools attending Central Carolina Community College have to take remedial math, reading, and English classes. That total of remediation is higher when you include ALL NC Students! Lee County Schools saw an average 10 point drop in the SAT scores compared to last year. You add this to the 1:1 laptop program costing tax payers millions of dollars along with the loss of teacher assistant positions at the Third grade level. Now the premise of your question supposes a correlation with more spending results in better students. Please tell me, are we getting our money’s worth?