In a recent letter titled “Let’s get this tax monkey off our backs,” the author questions a tax that funds Lauderdale County and the Florence City school systems.

One wonders why the author has chosen a local tax that has been in effect since Brown v. Board of Education as a supposedly egregious example of the government not living within its means.

Sure, voters can “teach their elected leaders a lesson” on “living within their budget,” but they also get to decide what those budgets are in the first place by setting their own priorities. And the voters decided over half a century ago that levying a tax to fund the local school system was a sacrifice worth making.

The Florence City school system is far superior to many in the surrounding region, and I am grateful for the voters’ decision to make education a priority. I graduated from Bradshaw High School and was well prepared by the faculty to get into a good college.

And what purpose does it serve for the author to point out that 90 percent of the school system’s budget goes toward personnel costs? Does he think that pencils and erasers teach children?

His repeated invocation of the virtues of the private sector ring hollow as well. We should not model our education system on the private sector in this corrupt, winner-take-all economic system.

What the author is really proposing is a race to the bottom for future generations of students and teachers in Florence.

Claudia O’Steen

Rock Hill, S.C.

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