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Author Archives: Jessica Prevatt

The ‘kicked can’ isn’t going to go away

Impressions
Jim McGauley

Impressions

The Baker County Commission, in the words of our Mike Anderson, “kicked the can down the road” last week when it voted in a $27.5 million budget for the coming fiscal year, eschewing a property tax increase in favor of the less painful dip into reserve funds to balance the difference between spending and revenue.
What the commissioners did, though, was paint themselves into a corner 12 months from now when we can assume opposition to raising the millage rate above its present 7.29 level will be as strong, and the amount of surplus funds will have dipped to about $4 million. Sound fiscal policy would dictate it not be reduced further. Read More »

Support healthy cafeterias

Dear Editor:
With the new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school lunches.
Traditionally, USDA had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Children consumed animal fat and sugary drinks to the point where one-third have became overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws became lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Read More »

Assigning blame for ‘loss of dream’

My Side of the Matter
Bob Gerard

Democrats and Republicans were quick to respond to an article in the Huffington Post that said 80% of Americans did not believe that they could achieve the American Dream. The article claimed that the vast majority of Americans did not believe that they were better off than their parents.
They cited the decline in marriage and rise in divorce (51% of all marriages fail, they contend). The article also stated that more young people are living at home for longer stretches than ever before and college education has skyrocketed, with student loan debt passing $1 trillion. Read More »

Progress sluggish in non-instructional talks

DSC_0039Contract talks between the school district’s non-instructional employee union and the administration dragged on until nearly 11 pm  September 8 with still no resolution on a core of issues, most prominent among them greater inclusion of its ranks on the communication chain on student discipline matters. DSC_0045The parties will re-convene on September 18 for another go at it, and discussions on other matters like the procedure for lining up bus drivers for field trips, higher seniority steps for veteran employees, and equaling bonus pay to that of teachers who have already settled their contract. In photo above, the delegations at the bargaining table in the school board meeting room. At right, non-instructional union president Stephanie Wingard and Tracy Butler, the negotiator assigned by the regional office of the Florida Education Association based in Orange Park. The session later this month will be the fourth.

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