Facing a stand-off with the county’s school system over budget issues, the Sumner County Commission announced today it plans to replace the area’s High Schools with a “really engaging PowerPoint presentation” for the 2012/2013 year.
“In seeking a compromise with the School Board, [the Sumner County Commission] truly felt this was the best option, both for the taxpayers and the students” explained County Commissioner Mathias Raus during a phone interview today. “Our main priority is the students, not the teachers and not the textbook providers. If books and teachers are what’s getting in the way of our children’s education, I say cut ‘em out!”.
The proposed re-formatting of Sumner Schools comes following a controversial decision late last week to delay the start of the county’s school year, which was originally scheduled for today. The Sumner School Board based their divisive decision on the lack of an approved budget; a proposed budget has previously been returned from the County Commission with instructions to make $7.6-million in cuts. Such cuts, some argue, would require teacher lay-offs, result in reduced services, and preclude the purchase of badly-needed new textbooks. Others fear that a continued decline in support for the schools from the local government (last year’s budget was also tasked with $5-million in cuts) will hamper the School System’s ability to draw quality teachers to the area in the future.
Raus explains that by requiring students to attend a weekly PowerPoint presentation at the Sumner County Administration Building, “we’ll be able to meet all of the students’ educational needs without all the hassle of paying for things like teachers and textbooks. The slideshow will handle the teaching, and we can print-off hand-out versions of the presentations so that they won’t even have to take notes, let alone worry about carrying around books. That’s good for our budget, and good for their posture!”
For Elementary School students, Raus claims that classes will be replaced with reruns of the television programs “Mr. Wizard’s World” and “Today’s Special”. “Mr. Wizard’s World” was a science-education program on Nickelodeon during the 1980’s featuring a genial old man performing scientific experiments with neighborhood children who were inexplicably always visiting him. “Today’s Special” featured a magically-possessed mannequin and a talking mouse-puppet in a department store learning about words and holidays from a night-janitor and a security-guard-puppet. “The royalties on those shows are much cheaper than for Sesame Street and Bill Nye, and really, it’s all about saving the taxpayers’ money” noted Raus.
Sumner residents are not pleased by the compromise, but admit that they prefer it to a tax hike. “It’s un-American to pay taxes, let alone MORE taxes” said Hendersonville resident Millicent Badcock. “And I think it’s selfish of teachers to refuse pay-cuts just so they can make a decent living and have proper teaching materials. I mean, where else are we gonna make the cuts?! We can’t cut the Sumner County military budget! If we drop our guard for a second, Mt. Juliet will invade again, and I’ll die before I see their flag fly over my courthouse!”
Sumner County sign picture found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sumner_County_TN_sign.jpg. Today’s Special picture found at http://epguides.com/TodaysSpecial/guide.shtml. Mr. Wizard’s World picture found at http://io9.com/5926740/watch-mr-wizard-act-like-a-dick-to-dozens-of-children.