Dear Education Officials:
I am a Newburgh School District taxpayer, I and want my money back.
In 2009-10 my school-tax bill was $5,000.
Now it turns out that some of our high-school officials willfully, knowingly and deliberately allowed six of NFA’s basketball players to cut classes. Specifically, they were allowed to miss a mind-boggling 1,187 classes. As a result, none of them got the education that we taxpayers paid for them to get.
Granted, an education is not something you buy; it’s something you get a chance to earn, and if you don’t earn it, you don’t get it. But in this case, it was our education officials who didn’t “get it”; they didn’t get that you can’t inspire students to want to earn an education, if you let them goof off when they’re supposed to be in class.
And granted, their parents either didn’t know or didn’t care if their kids skipped all those classes. So, the parents get a share of the blame, too. (Whatever happened to asking your children what they learned in school today?) But it’s you, our Board of Education, that hires and fires (or in this case, fails to fire) the administrators who are supposed to be recording and reporting student absences.
There’s no question that the students themselves were guilty of taking the easy route, perhaps letting their “hoops dreams” prevent them from attending class, paying attention to teachers, asking questions, doing homework – all the hard work that students everywhere would love to get out of.
But here’s the funny thing: These former players, when asked, not only admitted skipping classes, but admitted regretting it. In this, they showed that they had become men. They should be on the “inspirational speaker” circuit. That’s in contrast to the NFA administrators and then-coaches who “knew nothing about” the class-cutting. Here, the students in question are adults; the people in charge are the children. In our district, everything’s upside-down.
Since these six athletes made up about one two-thousandth of the 11,644 students in the district, please refund that proportion of my tax bill – $2.50 – as soon as possible. A check or money order will be fine.
p.s. Please also send refunds to all other district taxpayers whom you cheated by not educating these students.
p.p.s. Please write an essay telling what you’ve learned from this scandal, and how you’ll prevent it from happening again.
p.p.p.s. Please say it was just a coincidence that all those whom you cheated out of their educations were black. Because if it wasn’t, then the Newburgh School District has a much bigger problem than class-cutting.