Many years ago, men gathered together to build a one room school house and obtain a teacher, because they realized their children needed to learn to read, write, and figure. The men were farmers with little money. They decided to put a small tax on the land to pay a teacher, and everyone would pay their share.
It isn’t that way today. The homeowners and landowners pay a tax, but many pay nothing. 18-year-olds, seniors in high school, are signed up to vote in a bond election. They will move away to college, or to find work, leaving a debt for others to pay, but their vote is counted.
Many young couples will pay little for their children’s education. Is this right? No. It is not.
School bond elections have become like a welfare program: I will enjoy it, but you pay for it. In the future, the state must do something to help this issue because it isn’t working at a local level anymore. This is evident in the Jim Ned school bond election.
Untruths have been told and aired to achieve closing Lawn and Buffalo Gap schools. Some of our school board members have not voted to spend money wisely. They have spent $300,000 on land without looking at the negative aspects of building a new school. $300,000 could have been spent on remodeling an area in our existing schools.
The administration has not been neutral and neglect of our buildings has happened. Why, when we have money to replace building needs, have we had to put buckets in the high school to catch water, and we still owe approximately $1 million on the building.
Why haven’t we added another bathroom if it was needed? Has the neglect of Buffalo Gap and Lawn schools been on purpose?
In spite of all the untruths being spread, these two schools are rated as “Exemplary” schools. Children’s education is very important, and all the tax payers want Jim Ned students to be comfortable, in a safe setting, to achieve an excellent education to equip them to meet the challenges of society when they graduate. They can learn in a nice, brick building as well as a marble one. It is the teachers and caring parents that make the difference.
The economy is very unstable now. Why should we spend $20 million plus over a period of 25 years, resulting in $37 million, including taxes? $189 per square foot is excessive. Other schools are much less.
Buffalo Gap and Lawn buildings are too good to be destroyed, so why not bring them up to requirements because all educators say, “Keep your elementary children in a school as close to home as possible.”
It is sad, because this issue has torn the Jim Ned committees apart that have taken years to mold, and placed an excessive burden of higher taxes on top of what tax payers are already paying.
I hope our schools can be saved so we can continue to be a happy, unified Jim Ned in towns that are helpful and proud of them.
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