Better schools and broadband access

Today is the last day to step up and vote “yes” for better schools in Randolph County the way citizens have done in 43 of the 55 counties in West Virginia over the last few years. An Upshur County friend of mine said she thought people in Randolph County were proud of their schools and sport teams, and they would get out and vote to improve their facilities.

People in Randolph County used to have a reputation for being competitive and progressive about making our county the best in the region. We need to maintain that competitive stance if we want to attract the new young families that will come to West Virginia after broadband makes high tech commuting possible. They will bring their high tech jobs here where they can live in a rural area or in lovable old towns that are happy, safe places to raise young families.

From personal experience I can say that having good school facilities does make a difference when people with children are looking for a place to live. In 1996 when we were thinking about making a move to Ohio, we came back to Elkins to visit my sister at spring break. I had been trying to persuade my husband to move back to my home town for 28 years with no luck. However, when a very nice local student took our 16-year-old son to run on the new track at the new Elkins High School, he decided that living in Elkins might be a good idea.

The story is different from one family to another, but real estate agents can tell you that houses sell better in places where good schools are a priority. When I taught high school in a fast-growing part of Georgia, we would compete with other high schools to keep our SAT scores high because the real estate agents would publish listings of the scores for each school.

If Randolph County does not pass the levy for improvements schools, living here will not be as desirable for new families when they think about moving. It will become more difficult to attract new doctors, college professors, and other educated professionals to work in local institutions. We certainly will not draw the high tech employees who will come to use the new broadband connectivity that would allow them to live in a beautiful rural area and send work anywhere in the world.

Don’t miss your chance to vote “Yes for Kids” today.