Nicole Fuller's story in the Dec. 21 edition of The Sun correctly characterized the discussions I and other school system officials have had in recent months with County Executive John Leopold and members of the County Council regarding the fiscal situation that exists in our county. However, the story contained two significant errors which must be corrected.
First, I have never asserted in any way that Mr. Leopold or the members of the County Council were "not dedicated to the school system's success," as the story stated. In fact, I have repeatedly cited, and did so again in my Dec. 17 budget presentation to the Board of Education, my respect for the job they have done in balancing the varied interests across the county. While we may, at times, have philosophical differences about the way to best approach the educational budget, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that our Board of Education, Mr. Leopold, the County Council and I are absolutely committed to the success of our school system.
Second, my recommended Fiscal Year 2010 budget delays the further expansion of our AVID program into fifth grade. The fifth-grade AVID program already exists at 17 elementary schools, and those programs will remain in place under my budget proposal.
This is a challenging budgetary time for all the citizens of our county. It is my hope that ongoing discussions will result in a budget that, despite the fiscal constraints, continues to provide a quality education for all of our children.
KEVIN M. MAXWELL, PhD
Superintendent of Schools