Cuts to education were part of the Edgecombe County Commissioners’ 2013-2014 budget, which passed Thursday afternoon.
"The college's budget approved by the Edgecombe County Commissioners reflects an overall decrease of 15.3 percent or $250,000 over last year,” said Dr. Deborah Lamm, president of Edgecombe Community College (ECC). “Based on per student dollars, ECC is one of the lowest county-funded community colleges in the state. The college will, however, continue to maintain its physical plant and strive to meet the needs of Edgecombe citizens as well as we can."
The public schools (Nash-Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County Public Schools) were cut $500,000 collectively.
"I am very disappointed that the Commissioners cut the local public school budget,” said John Farrelly, superintendent of Edgecombe County Public Schools. “A significant portion of local funding goes to maintaining 13 facilities, whether enrollment has gone down or not. Local funding also supports many student field tips, which may have to now be reduced.”
Ann Kent, chair of the Edgecombe County Board of Education, is not happy with the cuts but understands why the commissioners had to make them.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” Kent said. “I truly believe that the county commissioners did all they could for us. I think they would do everything in their power to help our school system.”
Kent said that the county cuts, compounded with the state and federal cuts will make it “very difficult” for the board of education to decide what to do next, in terms of making additional cuts, but they will figure it out.
“We’ve been known to do more with less for quite some time,” Kent said.
Edgecombe County Commissioner Donald Boswell, also expressed his disapproval of the cuts to education.
“I was talking to someone at the community college the other day and they said the only ticket out of this county is to give people more education than they have right now,” he said. “We’re not doing a good job of supporting that…We need to support our public school and our community college.”