Some of the complaints about the Muscogee County school system are, in my view, justified. That doesn’t change the fact that the system is going to get about 4,000 additional students over the next few years as Fort Benning’s troop strength increases. New schools will simply have to be built to accommodate the influx, and old schools have to be renovated and maintained.
Most people realize that education goes beyond core classroom courses. Art, music, and sports play a key role in overall education. I have no problem with $17 million of the SPLOST money going to building new and upgrading old sports facilities. I certainly have no complaint about the creation of an Arts Academy. Being in the great Bob Barr Jordan High band was an extremely important learning experience for me, one that included music, but was by no means limited to that. It taught self-discipline, team work, and the desire to achieve.
Our new superintendent, Dr. Susan Andrews, promises to work diligently to correct the problems facing the schools that are, in my view, being left behind because so many of the kids in them are from poor families. She recognizes that poverty is a great handicap for children, but she believes they can still learn, and she will intensify an effort to see that they do. We need to give her that chance.
Yes, it is for our kids. Yes, it is for the future of our city. I am voting for the education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. I hope you will join me.