Letter to the editor – Carl Behne

August 11, 2015

Letter to editor,

There’s a lot happening in Greene County right now. It’s a time of growth and economic opportunity for all of us – new businesses, expanding industry and the start of a much needed housing development. If we want to continue with the current momentum of growth and economic opportunities, our school structure needs to be our next priority.

As a young executive with an active family, I spend a lot of time with other young families. We care about our young people and the opportunities available to them through the Greene County schools.

Anyone with school age children considering a move to Greene County will be looking closely at our school system and how it is structured and what it adds to the community at large. The upcoming September 8 bond referendum vote for the Greene County Community School District will send a big message to all of those across the state and beyond watching Greene County’s tremendous momentum.

Voting yes on September 8 is an investment in our school children, our community and our future. It isn’t about what was “good enough for me” or what “will get us by.” Because schools are much more than one-room classrooms — they are centers of teacher and student collaborations. They are also at the center of many community activities.

A yes vote on September 8 is about investing in our educational future – good accessible facilities, efficient use of space and resources, and the ability to offer programs and activities that make our community a better place to live and raise a family.

While we would all agree that high academic standards are vital for the future of our children, their schools must offer much more. In small communities like ours, the school serves as the location for community events and activities such as athletic tournaments and performances. These are big economic opportunities that surrounding communities benefit from. Hosting a regional state tournament in basketball or wrestling (which our locker room situation alone prohibits) can bring in thousands of dollars for area businesses and the hosting school. Hosting a state music event can do the same. A state-of-the-art performance facility can benefit our strong music and drama programs, as well as our community theatre productions.

These things can’t be paid for by the school district alone. Communities need to take ownership and make an investment. A yes vote on this bond referendum says, “I want our school system to be a vital part of our community.” You don’t need school age children to want this. This is about children, grandchildren, future children and future employers or employees in our community. We want quality educational and community opportunities for all.

Anyone who has attended a sporting event, supported a school fundraiser, attended a concert or supported the growth of our community in other ways (like the casino vote a year ago) should be voting yes. This is about all of us together as a community supporting each other.

We will see the return on our investment for years to come – just like we have on other investments we’ve made in our community. Voting yes on September 8 is certainly a vote of for our children and schools, but it’s also a big vote for our community’s growth and economic opportunities.

 

Carl Behne

School parent and community member

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