Wednesday, October 3, 2012
We are less than five weeks from the election. Not only are there local and national races that will affect the future of this country, there will be a School Improvement Referendum on the ballot in Berkeley County.
If you have attended one of the events to hear Berkeley County School District representatives speak about the referendum, you know the facts, and the facts are appalling.
We have children who are eating lunch at 10 a.m. and being forced to sit outside to do so, regardless of the weather, due to lack of space in lunch rooms.
How is a child who eats lunch at 10 a.m. supposed to have enough energy to participate in after-school sports at 3 p.m. on an empty stomach?
We have arts teachers who are literally wheeling their supplies from classroom to classroom, finding available space to hold class, because band and art rooms have been turned into much-needed classroom space.
We have schools built for 600-700 students, that now house 1,300 students, putting the overflow in trailers on the campus.
We have children waiting at bus stops at 5:30 a.m. because there are no schools anywhere near their neighborhoods.
One of the biggest reasons that people move to this area, boosting our local economy by buying houses here, shopping in our local stores, and eating in our local restaurants is our school system. Berkeley County School District is known as one of the best school systems in the state.
No one wants their property taxes raised, myself included. But the tradeoff here is a better quality of life for us all. Not passing this will cost each of us more than we would save in taxes.
Whether this referendum passes will have a huge impact on this community for years to come.
It will affect the prices we can all expect to ask for homes we might want to sell.
The technology upgrades alone will affect whether our children are prepared for what the future holds, and whether companies will locate here because of an available well-trained workforce.
Our children deserve better, our teachers and administrators deserve better, and we in Berkeley County deserve better. This goes far beyond bricks and mortar.
For just 11 cents per day on the value of a $100,000 home starting in 2014, and an additional 11 cents per day starting in 2017, we can make this happen. What can you get today for 11 cents, or even 22 cents for that matter?
In this case, you can improve the lives of our students, teachers, administrators, and you and me.
Less than a quarter a day.
I'd call that quite a bargain indeed.
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