Thursday, October 09, 2008

Preston County, WV NEEDS to pass this school levy

I am extremely skeptical that Prestonians will pass this bond because there are a lot of curmudgeonly, self-interested old people and Boomers in Preston County who are still pissed off that schools were consolidated in the 1970's.  

Preston County has GOT TO BUILD NEW MIDDLE SCHOOLS. 

It is not an option.  The schools currently serving 11-13 year olds in this county were bad almost 20 years ago when I went there.  My single reservation about sending my children to school in Preston County has nothing to do with the teachers or the overall quality of their education, but their safety.  My kids will be going to West Preston Middle School in Masontown unless we build something new.  If you haven't seen this building, it is scary.  It should be condemned.  Seriously.

I went to what is now South Preston Middle School (when it was Central Preston Jr. High) in Tunnelton.  It's no better.  Central Preston Middle School in Kingwood IS condemned and the poor kids are crammed into Preston High. 

When will Preston County residents "get it" that the key to more economic opportunity is through investing in infrastructure and education?  To do that you have to pay your taxes.  Period.  Paying taxes, unlike what this f*cktard of the VP choice Sarah Palin had to say,  IS patriotic.  Without money, government can't function and provide services for everyone.  The problem is conservatives and libertarians don't want government to function (albeit for different motives), so they tell us government is bad and it doesn't work and cut funding so it won't work.  It's just plain selfishness. 

Which is why I am doubtful the people of Preston County will pass this levy and prove that they are not selfish, ignorant and destined to wallow in their own indignant self-pity. 

...ok did I guilt you into voting for the levy yet?

Here's what they had to say on MetroNews today about the Preston County school bond levy vote:
Can Preston County Seal The Deal?
Staff
Charleston

A state education official says passage of a $50 million school bond in Preston County next month is a major key to the county improving its school system like it has pledged to do.

Office of Education Performance Audits Director Dr. Kenna Seal and his team reviewed the school system earlier this year and made recommendations. For several years a number of Preston County schools have failed to make the required progress under the mandates of No Child Left Behind.

Dr. Seal says Preston County has submitted a solid response to the concerns with plans to improve academics, the inner-workings of the school system and facilities.

Seal predicts the goals will have a difficult time being met unless Preston County voters approve that $50 million bond plan on Nov. 4. "That would go a long way," Seal said. "Their facilities are not in very good condition."

Preston County voters last approved a bond issue in 1989. The main project back then was a new Preston County High School. Seal says the district has done little to improve facilities since then. "They do have facilities that desperately need to be upgraded. They need some help," he said.

The state School Building Authority has promised to add nearly $20 million to Preston's $50 million if the bond is approved. The plan includes the construction of three new Pre-K-8th Grade schools near Arthurdale, Tunnelton and Kingwood.

MetroNews asked Dr. Seal if Preston County could achieve its improvement plans without the new schools. "In my opinion they would have to get a lot of money from the School Building Authority," Seal said. "I think it's critical that they are able to pass the levy and leverage that money from the School Building Authority."

PS - While we are on the topic of school building funding, etc.  Why won't this state change how it funds building schools?  Why is so much of the fundraising left up to the county?  It really holds this state back.  County governments and boards of education can barely make it as it is.  The current policy is bad for schools, our economy and local communities.

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