I will be voting yes on the Gainesville school levy proposal

Jane Elder

I read with interest the two letters in last week’s Times written by persons who urged us not to vote yes on the proposed school levy for the Gainesville R-V School District on Nov. 6.

I would like to add my thoughts to theirs. I will be voting yes on the levy. Why? Here are the reasons.

1. Our schools are our future. I am a retired teacher, having taught in Gainesville and other rural schools for 30 years. Teaching is a vocation, a calling. I know of no public schoolteacher who has grown rich on their salary, now or in the past. We need to attract and keep qualified personnel. The current pay scale, while it is adequate, does not come close to what other schools offer. Are we willing to see our best resource for education have to make the hard decision to go elsewhere so they can support their families?

2. Our children are our future. My greatest joy as an educator was to see that light shining in a youngster’s eyes when they finally mastered a concept or skill. Kids are our life, whether or not we admit it. Why not give them the best education we can? I know we live in an area of the country that is noted for its lack of good-paying jobs. I know many people struggle to make ends meet. But don’t we owe it to our future generations to make sure they have the necessary skills to make it in the world? So much is happening so fast, we older people have a hard time just keeping up. We must give our kids the best education we can afford so they can succeed in a fast-changing world.

3. We have the best administration, staff and school board at Gainesville R-V. We have been richly blessed, through all the 40-plus years I have lived in this county, with school personnel who are always looking out to do their best with what they have. And I mean that literally! Most of you reading this know about the struggles we go through in this area just keeping things running. And it is done with exacting fiscal management. Our boards of education, our superintendent and principals, our staff, custodians, cooks and bus drivers are always careful to make our tax dollars stretch as far as possible. If you need more information on this, just ask anyone who has ever worked for the R-V district, and they will tell you it’s true. But now it’s time to step up our game. We need help. Our buildings need help. We have to provide the means for our kids to learn all they will need when they leave our district and go on. I think we are doing a good job now, but our school district needs to keep up with fast-paced technology and learning.

I thank all of you who have read this letter. I thank the people who have expressed their opinion, whether it is for or against the levy. This is a free country. It’s our right to have our say. But I will leave you with one thought: What will life be like for our kids, the ones in preschool, the ones in high school, when we are dead and gone? Will we have been so shortsighted that we denied them the education they deserved?

Think on it. Think of the future. Not just yours ... but theirs. They are our legacy.

Jane Elder


Ozark County Times

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