An uncontroversial purpose

Published 3:39 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Undoubtedly in every locality in the U.S., there are important discussions that take place with regard to funding for the area’s public schools. Debates unfold with regard to how much money should be appropriated and why.

There can certainly be sharp disagreements over allocating money for some school programs or purposes, but one purpose that should be fairly uncontroversial is textbooks.

Textbooks are naturally a primary tool through which teachers help students learn different subjects, and it was great to see the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors approve a transfer of $38,519 from Lunenburg County Public Schools’ (LCPS) general fund to its textbook fund.

Apparently the transfer was greatly needed.

As my co-worker Emily Hollingsworth reported, LCPS Assistant Superintendent James Abernathy said the division typically adopts a new textbook series every six years for core subjects.

Some parts of the division are behind that rate, though, particularly the elementary school, where teachers do not presently use the textbooks on hand because they are so significantly out of date.

“The copyright date is 2005,” Abernathy said, “and the SOLs for math have been revised a couple (of) times since that time.”

Those Standard of Learning (SOL) tests require the teachers to be quite resourceful if they do not have textbooks new enough to get the job done.

“For middle school, the textbook series they’re using, the copyright date is 2012,” Abernathy said.

That would put the middle school in line with the division’s six-year standard if it gets its textbook update this year.

The division is in the process of upgrading math textbooks for grades 1-12, and Abernathy said English will not be far behind math in terms of adopting a new textbook series, estimating that the update could be within two years.

“We want to keep our textbook fund balance pretty high because we certainly want to provide our students with those current textbooks,” Abernathy said.

I appreciate the school division’s priorities and commend all involved for appropriately serving them.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@