In 21 West Virginia counties, conscientious people who care about their children's future willingly chose to double a portion of their property tax -- passing 100 percent excess levies to support schools.
Those 21 progressive-minded counties are:
Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Fayette, Hancock, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Putnam, Raleigh, Tyler, Wayne, Wetzel and Wyoming.
Now, Kanawha may expand the list to 22, if success comes in balloting already begun on a countywide referendum. When votes are tallied on the night of Nov. 9, we hope the outcome is "yes."
As we've explained before, Kanawha voters extended a long-running excess levy last year, but it was limited to just 65 percent of what state law allows. Afterward, county schools suffered a budget deficit, and the Kanawha library system faces a possible $3 million setback. Now, voters are being asked to restore the levy to the 100 percent legal limit to overcome those two losses.
Go for it, we say. Learning is crucial in the snowballing Information Age. Schools and libraries must be first-class. If you agree, go to polls and support the levy expansion.