It has been 11 years since voters in Beaufort County approved a school bond referendum, while costs have risen and demands for improvements have increased. Distrust of school administrators has no doubt played a role. But the time has come to focus on the county’s 22,000 school children, nearly 60% of whom are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.
We owe it to these children to become literate and qualified for the work force in order to give them the best opportunities for jobs and a brighter future. This not only benefits the students, but all of us living in Beaufort County. Adequate school funding is obligatory from a moral if not a fiduciary standpoint.
South Carolina’s Act 388 lets residents off the hook for funding school operations via property taxes. Our sole local operations contribution comes from a 1 percent sales tax that doesn’t apply to large ticket items or to groceries. Clearly, this is not enough and does not serve the needs of the students.
On Nov. 5, Beaufort County residents will vote on a two-question, $345 million bond referendum. A “yes” vote on the first question will provide $291 million for maintenance and renovation of aging facilities, a replacement for Robert Smalls School and upgrade of technology resources across the district. Question 2 addresses an additional $54 million earmarked for Career and Technology Education (CATE) and improvements to athletic facilities and playgrounds. Question 1 must pass in order for Question 2 to pass.
While there are many pressing issues in the school district (teacher turnover, class sizes, funding methods), funding critical repairs and technology updates is a start.
We have an obligation to show support for our county’s children. Please vote “yes” on the referendum.
Jacklyn Purple Rhodes
Help veterans get the salute they deserve in Bluffton park
Bluffton American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 205, and the town of Bluffton have worked tirelessly to establish a Veterans Memorial Park in the town of Bluffton.
It has become a reality and both the town and the auxiliary are looking forward to the residents of Bluffton being able to visit the park to reflect and share experiences with one another. Construction is now underway at Buckwalter Plaza and all are invited to stop by and take a look.
The memorial will be dedicated to all the men and women who have served their country with valor and self-sacrifice.
The auxiliary is promoting a Memorial Brick Program where an organization, business or individual may purchase a brick with personalized engraving at a cost of $100 each to honor or remember a loved one in three lines of 14 letters on each line (spaces count as a letter).
All donations are tax deductible and earmarked to enhance the memorial. If you care to help, checks should be written to ALA Bluffton Veterans Memorial and mailed to P.O. Box 1933, Bluffton SC 29910.
American Legion Auxiliary
Trump getting unfair treatment
Donald Trump, the man, has many flaws and is very unlikable. But, I feel sorry for him.
The opposition party has never given him a moment of peace. The relentless attacks ever since his inauguration are unprecedented. One probe after another, subpoena after subpoena, threat after threat, it never ends. The House has focused on investigation instead of legislation.
Yet, the economy is in fine shape, unemployment is the lowest in decades and wages are rising. China’s unfair trade practices are finally being addressed, European nations are being pushed to pay for their fair share of NATO costs, etc. While I do not like him, I am impressed by much of what he has accomplished. If only he would quit talking and tweeting.
Hilton Head Island
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