Students returned to school this week and the normal onslaught of complaints started coming in to our newsroom.

Let’s just review a small sampling of the reports.

Students standing or sitting on the floors, for an entire class period, because not enough chairs were in the classrooms. Overcrowded classrooms exceeding the student-teacher ratios mandated by law. Students standing in the aisles of buses due to the lack of available seats. Teachers still being told they have to go out and buy supplies for students with money from their own pockets. Dirty, unkempt areas due to construction and other reasons. And classrooms being overheated due to the hot conditions outside and the lack of air conditioning in most schools.

Can’t you just feel the love and desire for learning and teaching?

We expect that most of these issues, with the exception of the air conditioning, will be resolved rather quickly. If the leaders of the county school systems, and the school administrators they’ve put into leadership roles, haven’t gotten them adequately addressed by the end of the week, then they should be asked why.

What really is of more concern to us is the apparent lack of planning at some of these schools.

For the most part, enrollment figures in this region of the state aren’t experiencing vast fluctuations, so it really seems like better planning at the school level would help to avoid some, if not many, of the problems. That planning needs to be directed and enforced by the county office, starting with the superintendent and working its way down the ladder.

The attitude of “well, let’s get them in the school and see what we’ve got” isn’t adequate or acceptable.

It’s not happening everywhere, but it’s happening in enough schools that it should concern the taxpayers.

Elected school board members should be taking notes, making themselves aware and holding those they employ to lead our school systems accountable. If not, the public will make them the responsible party, for being ineffective, come election time.

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