Education remains the only solution

The Randolph County School levy will be held March 9. This election will affect the kids of this county no matter how you might vote. It’s either one step forward or one step back.

According to US News and World Report (2018), the education system in the state of West Virginia was ranked No. 45. This affects other aspects of the state which include healthcare, which ranks No. 44, quality of life No. 45. Our economy? Next to the bottom at No. 49 (thank God for Alaska No. 50).

West Virginia seems to end up close to the bottom in every ranking it comes out in. Most of this is due to education. Only 28 percent of the state are college grads (US News). Along with the technical school grads, the college grads are leaving the state. Why? Better paying jobs.

This does not reflect well on the state as a whole. You don’t see industry rushing to come to the Mountain State to set up shop. And more young adults aren’t coming home to set up a practice or business when they graduate.

Education is the solution and it has to start with us. The levy goes a long way to doing this. Giving the supplies, books, extra teachers and aids, extra bus drivers, computers. The state board can only dole out so much as they have 54 other counties to tend to.

So where does Randolph County stand in the rankings? A few weeks ago, a study done by on the ranking of the counties on education was released. Randolph County ranked No. 49 out of 55. Of the six boardering counties four are ranked ahead (Pendleton, Pocahontas, Tucker and Barbour) with two behind (Upshur and Webster). Not exactly a glowing endorsement if you were trying to sell a company on moving to Randolph County.

The first thing a company looks for in an area is the education system. How good is it? Will it get my son or daughter into Harvard or West Virginia University? If my plant grows, will I be able to lure more middle management people to work here? As much as others think a highway will bring industry in, it will take more than a road.

If we care about our young folks of the county, don’t we want to leave them better off? Isn’t that the idea? If memory serves me correctly, only two levies have passed in Randolph County in the last 40 years. Recently, three counties, Upshur, Preston and Kanawha, passed school levies. What do they know that we don’t? Maybe they want to improve their school system.

Are you content to rest on or near the bottom? I’m not. And after all, isn’t this levy about improving our youth?

Clark Martin