In a perfect world, when children entered the doors of their local schools, they’d walk into a palatial learning sanctuary, rivaling the great Library at Alexandria.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Everyone on the premises, from the janitors to the principle, would be afforded the utmost respect and dignity for the trust placed in them by parents in Selma.

We’d recognize their tireless efforts to make our children’s lives better with salaries commiserate with the responsibility they have.

Each and every one of the caretakers of our children would never have to worry about their finances, because our school systems would be able to afford every need and every luxury to make learning easier for our children, to make teaching easier for our teachers and to allow the support staff to earn enough to thrive on.

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We don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a county with double-digit unemployment and high crime. With live in a state with a constant budget crisis. And our schools systems, despite our best efforts, reflect it.

Our school systems can’t provide toilet paper to elementary school students without the generous help of parents, and we can’t afford to give the support staff of Dallas County Schools a raise.

Each and every day, parents in Dallas County place a responsibility on everyone at their local schools to protect and provide for their children, to act as another “parent” in their absence.

And unfortunately, some of these same people are barely getting by.

The STJ recognizes their contributions to our students’ well being and education.

But, the STJ also recognizes the complex issues preventing the Dallas County Board of Education from increasing their pay.

According to Wayne May, the system would have to go into debt to pay for a wage increase.

And, as May and the rest of the school board wisely determined, more debt was unacceptable.

Hopefully, sooner than later, the support staff at Dallas County Schools will get everything they so richly deserve, but until then, we hope the Dallas County Board of Education will continue to be wise stewards of the public funds entrusted to them. We also hope that the Board continues to look for ways to provide adequate pay for their staff.