The Times West Virginian

Opinion

September 8, 2013

Marion County should take pride in strong support of public education

It’s a Marion County tradition, and its people deserve to be proud.

Since about 1950 — for more than six decades — county voters have supported the school excess levy.

“It is critically important to maintaining Marion County’s status as one of the leading counties in the state of West Virginia when it comes to edu­cational performance,” Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said.

Marion County schools, Price noted. typi­cally score at or above the state and national levels in most areas of testing, and they have earned numerous awards for stu­dent academic performance.

“We feel that the taxpayers of Marion County are getting a good return on their investment because they have been willing to support Marion County schools at an increased level,” the superintendent added.

“It is our goal to help every child maximize their education potential in a safe environment.”

Marion County is now in the process of preparing for an election to renew the school excess levy for five more years.

The West Virginia Legislature annually sets the regular levy for public schools statewide. Local school districts then have the option to lay an additional — or excess — levy, which must be voted on by the people. The local election will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12. If voters approve the 100 percent excess levy call, as thay have traditionally done by a wide margin, it would become effective July 1, 2014.

These funds, so essential to the smooth, effective operation of the public educational system, are allocated to specific areas within Marion County schools and can’t be spent on anything else.

One category includes text­books, instructional materials, teaching equipment and sup­plies for media centers.

The excess levy also supports additional salary and enhanced benefits packages, such as dental and vision insur­ance, for current professional and service personnel.

Marion County gives a salary supplement above and beyond the state minimum.

Funds are used to improve the maintenance and operations of buildings and to upgrade the transportation fleet.

The excess levy provides funds for technology upgrades, such as the replace­ment of laptops for teachers or student computers; capital improvements, focused on major renovations or additions to existing schools; and infra­structure upgrades, to the exist­ing Internet or utilities, he said.

Every year, the board of edu­cation is audited by the state auditor’s office. If the levy money isn’t spent in the current year, it still has to be used for the same types of pur­chases in the future.

Continued local support for public schools is essential.

This year’s Marion County enrollment figures showed a slight increase, and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to build in the future.

“We just hope that Marion County’s business outlook and the education outlook are both in the upturn for the future,” Price said. “As more jobs are provid­ed, more people will be able to stay here.”

Opportunities for additional employment and the resulting growth won’t happen without a strong educational system.

We’re confident Marion County voters will continue to be excellent partners in the process.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads