On Nov 6 we the voters won’t have to decide whether the county’s population will increase. That’s a given. Lots of people are and will be moving into Berkeley County.
What we the voters will have to decide is what we will do with all the children moving in; how that will affect all of Berkeley’s current students; and how we can help our children keep up with today’s and tomorrow’s changing world.
It has been proposed that our school district borrow money to build new schools and upgrade old schools, a school improvement referendum, and the district will need our approval to do so. Maybe the district didn’t get the numbers right. Maybe the district made a decision about someone in your family that you don’t like. Maybe no one in your family will benefit directly from the bond issue, and certainly none of us want to pay more property tax. These issues seem to be behind those who oppose this referendum.
While these are real issues that affect us directly, we must not let them overshadow the fact that this referendum is not about you and me. It is much more importantly about our children and grandchildren and the world they will inherit. As far as I can tell no one has asked one of our high school students if it is easier to master the chemistry and physics required for the work world, taught in a well equipped science lab than it is in a portable classroom. Has anyone asked our Marrington Middle School of the Arts students how they feel about having no stage to perform on? Or our Goose Creek or Stratford students how they feel about eating lunch standing up in the halls? Or our Cross students how not having a real media center affects their learning?
In 2025, when today’s kindergarteners graduate from high school, the world will be something you and I can’t even imagine. It is a world we don’t have to master but as tomorrow’s citizens and breadwinners our children will. The science and technology of their new world will have gone through several evolutions. Almost everything about their adult lives will change, just as the wooden box telephone on the wall has morphed into the cell phone. It will happen whether we want it to or not. It will be happening in Europe, Asia, and South America. Whether you and I have to play catch up with changing technology isn’t the issue. Whether or not our children will be behind in the global competition is. What was good enough for us is not good enough for them.
The kids will survive no matter what school facilities we are willing to provide the school district to work with come Nov, 6. But whatever facilities shortfall we have in 2013 will only increase exponentially in the future. And the burden our failure to act will place on our children will expand right along with it.
Vote Yes4Schools on Nov. 6 and give our children the safe, high tech learning environments they deserve.