The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 7, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013

Pass levy to take us closer to local control

Our public schools are an integral part of our society. The responsibility for the success of our schools rests not only on the shoulders of the teachers and school administrators, but is the responsibility of a whole group of stakeholders: students, parents, grandparents, business leaders, elected officials and every citizen.

Our family has been blessed to live in Fayette County where the citizens have taken this responsibility seriously for over 50 years by passing an excess levy. Having taught in our county schools, I know first-hand what continuation of the levy means to the classroom.

All students receive free textbooks and classroom supplies; have access to and instruction in the latest in technology; and benefit from the reading, music, art, PE and science/math support. Loss of these levy monies would decimate our school system!

The fact is our school system lost control to the state, but I truly believe that we are on the right track to regain local control. Again, it takes all of us working together toward a common goal of seeing that soon Fayette County is back in control.

Passage of the excess levy takes us one step closer to local control and the support monies do make a tremendous difference in the resources for all students.

I am a former educator, parent, grandparent and supporter of Fayette County Schools. I plan to vote “FOR” for the continuation of the Fayette County Schools’ excess levy. I would encourage other Fayette County citizens who believe in our public schools and want them to succeed, to join me in supporting the continuation of the excess levy on Feb. 9.

Vote FOR our school levy.

Marion Tanner



Voting no will only hurt our children

On Friday, Feb. 1, William Kettlewell wrote that we should vote against the Fayette County excess levy, citing our county’s abysmal ranking as reason. As a trained and experienced educator, I cannot argue that our rankings are among the nation’s worst. In fact, I have spoken about improving our school system at recent board of education meetings.  

He writes that “you may still think that extra taxes will give us better educators and schools.” His statement is rife with faulty logic, based on faulty assumptions.

First, we are not paying “extra taxes.” We will continue to pay the same level of tax support that we, as he writes, have been paying for “nearly 50 years.”

He also assumes that voters think that we will obtain “better educators” by voting yes. The excess levy is not designed to attract better teachers. It is designed to handle the excess items not covered by other sources, hence the name. Important items such as student safety and security, public library support, science and math support, support for the arts, as well as athletic bus trip support, and a small amount of salary and insurance support for our poorly paid teachers (West Virginia is ranked 39th in the country in teacher salary).  

The problems in our school system are systemic, and not at all related to the levy. Mr. Kettlewell would spitefully impose punitive damages upon our children for mistakes made in the administration of our education system. Voting no will only hurt our children.

If we truly want to improve our school system, then we the people must hold the state of West Virginia and the Fayette County Board of Education accountable for our system’s failures, not our children.

I implore you to vote yes for the Fayette County excess levy.

Dr. Joseph Dangerfield