Schools deserve ‘yes' vote Tuesday
Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Last year, Brewton and Escambia County schools reached every academic goal asked of them under federal and state guidelines.
And they've also gone above and beyond.
Both school systems have incorporated new technology into their teaching methods. They have established the Alabama Reading Initiative to help boost children's reading skills. Brewton Middle School is even one of the first middle schools in the state to use the program.
Last year, the Escambia County School District was recognized as one of the Ten Great Rural Education Environments in the South by an economic development magazine whose purpose is to provide information to industries looking to relocate or expand. Turtle Point Environmental Science Center was singled out especially for praise by the publication.
Amid all of those achievements, both school systems want to do more. They want better technology, and more of it so that teachers don't have to share. They want more teachers so that they can offer smaller class sizes and more course offerings. They want to improve school facilities so that students are attending classes in the best possible environment.
Next week voters in Escambia County have the opportunity to vote “yes” or “no” on a tax renewal for public schools.
Make no mistake: Any vote against a 1-mill countywide tax or a 3-mill district tax is a vote against education, a vote against students, a vote against progress.
Our schools wouldn't be where they are today without the support this county and its taxpayers have already given to schools. Next Tuesday's vote simply asks us to uphold that support.
Your taxes won't go up as a result. They will stay the same. This is not a tax increase, and don't let anyone convince you that it is.
But consider this: While your tax bill will remain status quo if the tax passes, our schools will be given the opportunity to go far beyond that. Can you imagine a better deal?
The success of our schools is important to the success of our entire community, our entire county. Programs like Turtle Point are already attracting the attention of industries and economic development officials. Imagine what message a “no” on the tax vote will send.
Please vote “yes.” Our schools deserve it, and we owe it to them.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.