Residents concerned about schools plan

Dear Editor,

As 20-year residents of Alabaster, we are deeply concerned about the proposed Alabaster School System. Although there are many issues involved in this decision, we are specifically disturbed by three of them.

First, we do not perceive any compelling need for the city to take on the responsibility of educating our children. The exceptional quality of Shelby County education is recognized throughout the state of Alabama. Even if Alabaster took over our local schools, we would be required by law to retain all current employees, which would preclude any significant changes in the quality of our children’s education.

Second, in this recessive economy, using all of our existing resources and raising taxes to make up the short-fall is high risk behavior that is not fiscally responsible. Although the leadership of Alabaster has done an excellent job of maintaining financial stability during these times, critical sacrifices have been made to do so. We should not put the education of our children at the mercy of the vagaries of a sales tax increase during a time when our city’s budget is already suffering from reduced sales tax revenue.

Finally, although it may be legal for the city council to unilaterally decide to pull Alabaster’s children from the Shelby County School system, it is unethical for four people to make this life-changing decision for the rest of Alabaster’s citizens. Just because a decision is legal, does not make it ethical. There must be a referendum to determine the will of the people before significantly altering the lives of all our citizens.

Bob and Brenda Fitzgerald