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March 26, 2004

When there's a need, Perryans give support
Residents of the Perry school district can be proud of many things. Not the least among them is the concern shown for facilities that make possible a more than adequate scholastic program for our young people. The same concern is evident in the growth and development of our children. We go to great lengths to see that school-age youngsters receive worthwhile educations as they prepare to meet the struggles that all of us must contend with as adults.

All of this is summed up in the record that should fill us with pride: When a need for facilities is demonstrated, this community will provide the financing. This has been demonstrated many times since the earliest days of public schools in the old Cherokee Outlet.

Superintendent Jack Parker, the Perry board of education, school personnel and an ad hoc citizens advisory committee believe that we can no longer send our boys and girls to crumbling, mold-infested elementary classrooms in the buildings that have served so long. Repairs and upgraded equipment are sorely needed in all of our district's schools, but the cost of starting over from scratch is prohibitive. So, the building replacement program is starting, logically, with new classrooms and facilities for children in the kindergarten and elementary grades level.

Many patrons of this district have taken advantage of the school's invitation to tour the buildings and see for themselves just how bad our situation is. Some of the buildings are not that old in terms of years, but remember most buildings like these were built at the lowest cost possible. That means legal shortcuts were taken where possible, and the result of that cost-cutting now stares bleakly back at us.

Local school officials hope you will talk about this before the school bond proposal is submitted to citizens on April 6. Discuss it with your family and friends. Refer your questions to the proper school official, not to some sidewalk expert. Then go to the polls on April 6 and vote "yes." We have been shown there is a need. Now it's time for all of us to provide the funds that make possible growth and improvement in the education program that has been crafted for our children. Bear in mind, measures like this must receive a 60 percent majority to pass.