Children#039;s future can be protected by voters

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

We are still three years away from another presidential election but Ironton voters will again be called on to shape the future this November.

No, these decisions may not have

the clear national ramifications but they will most certainly determine the future face of our city and ultimately much of the county.

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Ironton City School officials got the call Wednesday telling them that the district made the state's "Top 20" list for school construction funding.

Don't worry, this does not mean anyone will be tearing down the historic Ironton High School anytime soon. It does mean that the district may get funding for some much-needed remodeling there as well as funds for repairs or potential new buildings for some of the more aged structures: West Ironton School, built in 1936, Whitwell and Kingsbury that have survived more than five decades and a middle school that isn't much newer.

The catch is that voters will have to approve a property tax levy to make this dream become a reality. The state will provide approximately two-thirds of the funding needed. For each dollar, residents would be responsible for 27 cents with the state covering the rest.

The state has committed this very sizable helping hand. We urge residents not to forsake the future just to save a little change now.

What could possibly be more important than providing the city's children and grandchildren with all the tools they need to become the leaders of tomorrow? Absolutely nothing.

Many people talk about the need for economic development and bringing jobs to our county. That starts with the schools.

One of the first things businesses look at when considering locating in a region is the public school system. The rest of the county has taken steps forward, and it is now time for Ironton to do so.

The next brilliant entrepreneur or scientific genius may be sitting in Ironton schools right now, in overcrowded, antiquated classrooms. New facilities and new technology may be the spark that ignites a student's creativity that could in turn ignite the revitalization of Ironton and the entire county.

And, yes, we know voters may also be asked to vote on a city municipal fee as well, and that may be equally as important. We ask voters to look at each individually and judge on its own merits.

Each and every one of us must do all we can to help build the foundation for tomorrow's prosperity. If that means we have to tighten the belt a little then so be it.

In this case, all of us are the proverbial "parents" that must provide the best we can for future generations. Aren't our children worth it? You bet they are.