On September 11, 2023, a day filled with thoughts of the past, the present, terrorism, patriotism and extreme selflessness, I attended the community bond issue meeting. The meeting was about the future of Union County schools nd all the students who are enrolled there. Yet, had we all been seated on the first four rows of the Magnolia Theatre, I doubt those rows would have been filled.
I always wonder about the empty seats in such meetings. Granted, in this case there had been other meetings to discuss the issue, so some folks are excused. But the overwhelming majority of parents with students in the Union County School District (UCSD) have exhibited little public interest in the official bond issue discussions. Sadly, interest in social media rantings are a different matter.
Generally, tax money spent in the local community is the most efficient use of taxpayers’ money. It can be, and should be, watched closely. But our nature seems to be to allow all of our elected officials to conduct “business as usual,” which usually means business conducted with little public input from those who pay the bills.
The UCSD is doing an outstanding job of educating our future with its money. It is known to be one of the top districts in Mississippi. As such, it is growing by leaps and bounds.
I have no child in the UCSD. However, I have voted in favor of every school bond issue in every community where I’ve lived. I see it as one my responsibilities to the future. I know I will never go rushing into a burning skyscraper or fight to crash my own airplane in order to save people I don’t even know. But I can try to ensure that my community’s children are provided with adequate schools, and that those rare beings who are committed to teaching children have acceptable conditions in which to perform that service.
I’ve never lived in a school district that went nearly 60 years without a bond issue, as has the UCSD. I couldn’t imagine how that had been accomplished. Then I heard about double offices in closets, classes meeting behind stage curtains while gym classes are in progress, students walking in the rain to restrooms, etc. For more details on what is needed, see the link below.
School facilities largely put into service before the late 60s cannot hope to continue serving their purpose adequately and safely without the community’s investment.
Which brings us to the overriding and expensive proposition of making our schools as safe as possible for all involved. This is a relatively new and costly need, not even foreseen when UCSD campuses were designed. Think how horrible it would be, on some tragic day in the future, to become yet another American school system saying “woulda, coulda, shoulda” done more for our kids. If for no other reason, vote “Yes” to keep your future safe while it’s in the care of the Union County School District.
Yes, 18.5 million dollars is a breathtaking sum of money. But the UCSD’s plan is well thought out and reasonable. It provides necessities, not luxury. It improves security. It supports the future. It deserves your “Yes” vote on September 19.
-Nan Shiverdecker, NEMiss.News
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