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Move over, Mississippi: cotton crop takes root in Southside Virginia

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Save the center / May 02, 2013

Dear Viewpoint:

Help Keep Cluster Springs Early Learning Center Open: The headline in Friday’s newspaper, “Six administrators to get raises, across - the - board pay hikes still in budget; Cluster Springs Early Learning Center closing up for discussion.”

I was simply amazed at the audacity that some on the School Board voted for the above raises. Thank you Karen Hopkins, Cheryl Terry and Walter Potts for voting against these pay hikes. Some on the Board want to now discuss the closing of the Cluster Springs Early Learning Center, cut hours and pay so they can give raises to administrators and some secretaries? They are discriminating against some veteran employees by “robbing Peter and paying Paul.” This is what you call real discrimination. It is a slap in the face to see raises for “special” employees and then want to close Cluster Springs Early Learning Center. I have read the Board’s reasons for these raises and cuts but I don’t buy their reasons for these raises and I am sure those being affected don’t either. They would just like to keep their pay scales, for which they have worked really hard to get.

Whose idea was it to bring up the closing of Cluster Springs Early Learning Center for discussion? This should never have been considered then or in the future! Cluster Springs Early Learning Center and South Boston/Halifax Early Learning Center are great schools for these Pre-K children. They are in a safe environment and both schools are run very efficiently. Here the School Board goes again putting the employees, the children and the parents in turmoil once again. These Pre-K children will be coming from Virgilina, Turbeville, Cluster Springs and Alton. Just where are you planning to put these children? Will you bus them all over the county or are you going to make the parents take them back and forth? It seems to me that you are trying to kick these children to the curb.

The School Board stated this matter will be brought up for discussion at the next Board meeting on May 13. I am sure it will be done behind closed doors, or have they already decided to close Cluster Springs Early Learning Center behind closed doors (like the Washington politicians decide everything.) Just remember, you are in your seats on the Board because you were elected by the people!

Anyone who cares about these children should bombard the School Board and Dr. Herndon with phone calls, e-mails and letters. Listed are their names and phone numbers: Kimberly Farson 476-6907, Dick Stoneman 572-6024, Phylis Smith 349-9544, Karen Hopkins 454-7346, Cheryl Terry 572-4534, Roger Long 572-8551, Fay Satterfield 572-9266 and Walter Potts 575-7579. Some probably will not answer, but give it a try. Also, be sure to fill that School Board Meeting Room at Mary Bethune on May 13. These little children need your help now! I would hope that the trustees for Cluster Springs Early Learning District would vote no to this closing.

What is going to be done with the surplus money the Board will be receiving from the Board of Supervisors? It will be interesting to see where and how this is going to be spent.

Nancy Ramsey

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