When they were young and we were shopping for a house, my husband, like the parents involved in the petition drive, sized up the situation. He would look in no other attendance area.
In hindsight I realize our kids would have thrived in nearly any of the county's schools. It was our own emphasis on education that started them on the right academic path. Our choice of a school district was just one aspect of that emphasis.
But that is hindsight. I am sympathetic to the cause of parents who want the best for their children. These are the kind of people who make schools work, and they aren't all wealthy.
A major problem in public schools today is parents who don't value education.
At some schools, staff members are working hard to get students to show up at all.
Four schools in Kanawha County have full-time attendance officers who call homes in the morning to wake up parents and urge them to get their kids dressed and out the door.
If the youngsters will just come, the school will even feed them before proceeding to teach.
If I could turn back the clock, I would reinstate the public schools of my youth. That was before the era of publicized test scores, and student bodies were true cross sections of the community.
I mixed with kids from families a lot poorer and a lot richer than my own. It was as valuable a part of my education as the academics.
Now many schools are stratified, with students from certain demographic layers of the community. While schools receive public funding based on the number of students, such demographics make a huge difference.
The petitioning parents face an uphill battle in getting the rest of the county to swallow higher taxes. Their goal is money for construction of an addition to John Adams, but to sell a tax hike, they would have to market projects that would appeal to voters across the county.
It would be a difficult, time-consuming effort - impossible if the school board didn't buy in.
But let's imagine that man does bite dog.
If these motivated parents could pull off this unlikely initiative, and in the process demonstrate why they believe so fiercely in education, who knows what might happen?
Friend is editor and publisher of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-5124 or nan...@dailymail.com.