County schools show money isn#039;t everything

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2005

Appalachia is often considered behind the times in many aspects. But Lawrence County schools aren’t making excuses and are leading by example.

Even with a state educational funding system that has been declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, all seven public school districts in the county are making great strides to provide the best education possible with the available resources - resources that are often far more scarce than in many of the northern schools in the state.

Now the rest of the state is taking notice at what we can do.

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Educators from across Ohio will be in the county today to visit our schools, specifically the seven that were named "Schools of Promise."

That honor is given each year to schools that have made substantial improvements in ensuring high achievement among all students.

Earlier this year, Chesapeake Elementary, Chesapeake Middle School, Dawson-Bryant Middle School, Dawson-Bryant High School, Rock Hill High School, Burlington Elementary and South Point Elementary were given this honor and will now get the chance to brag a little - and they deserve it.

More than 60 state educators will visit these schools to see how each has been able to sustain the level of quality. Then the educators will gather at Ohio University Southern for a group discussion on how to improve education as a whole.

We applaud these schools for their hard-earned honors and hope that other districts in the county and across the state can learn from them. We need to be proud of our schools and celebrate their successes that have come on an unlevel playing field.

Southern Ohio’s education funding may be far below where it needs to be, but that has not stopped the dedicated men and women in the school districts from working hard and going above and beyond.

If our schools continue to take this approach, and the courts finally enforce its ruling that the funding is unconstitutional, southern Ohio will soon leave many of its educational neighbors in the dust.

And that is a promise.