Before the debate on funding for the Washington County school system goes any further, let's turn the volume down. If each side begins assumes the other isn't acting in good faith, then the county will be headed down the same old road traveled by the county commissioners and schools board members in years past.
Repeatedly each side accused the other of (either) fiscal irresponsibility or not caring about the children. Frankly, it didn't do the schools much good. It's time to start over, with voices lowered.
On Tuesday, the county commissioners, led by James R. Wade, warned the school board not to come in with an "impossible" request. He noted that the county board had agreed to give an additional $750,000 to South Hagerstown High if the school system would deliver a three-year spending plan and a "reasonable" budget request for next year.
Wade and other board members are reacting a push for funding that begin in June when Sharon Chirgott, the new leader of the Washington County Teachers Association, said one of her main priorities would be raising teacher pay scale, after two years of no raises.