Specifically, the five-year levy would generate an additional $24 million the first year, on top of the $44 million voters approved last year. Of that, about $3 million would be divided among the Kanawha County Public Library, the South Charleston Public Library and the Nitro Public Library to repair the damage the school board caused to library funding in other actions.
While libraries are a legitimate and worthy education expense -- that serve all people, in school and out -- the greater share of the excess levy proceeds would go to classrooms.
Needs of schools for every age all over the county are listed on the ballot, things such as repairs and maintenance, technology, extra-curricular activities and staff and instructional supplies.
The current Kanawha County Board of Education has been remarkably foolish and careless with the school system. I cannot think of a body less deserving of public support.
But school board members will not suffer if this levy is not passed. School board members will still collect their various government checks and benefit from all the public funded amenities they now enjoy.
But kids in school today, those entering in the next five years, adults trying to retrain and those trying to catch up to an education that eluded them when they were younger, would suffer. And their window of opportunity will not remain open forever. They will grow up or grow older. And what will they grow into?
The question of education funding comes down to what sort of place Kanawha County wants to be. Is Kanawha County a place that does the bare minimum for students required by state law, miserly pinching every penny and shutting down opportunities?
Or is Kanawha County a place that wants to buy as much education and opportunity for young people as it possibly can?
I know the kind of place where I'd rather live.Miller, the Gazette's editorial page editor, can be reached at d...@wvgazette.com.