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OPINION: Why you should vote “Yes” on Issue 3

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East Elementary School

Opinion writer Azaviera Payne argues a “Yes” vote for the upcoming Athens School levy, “Issue 3”, is important the schoolchildren of the city.

Can you imagine going to a school with barely functioning heat? Having to leave school on hot days because there is no air? Mold in your classrooms? Those are just some of the problems that can be solved by passing Issue 3. Every child deserves a clean and well-functioning school in order to make for a healthy learning environment.

Issue 3 is a proposed tax to fund the renovation and construction of schools and facilities in the Athens County School District. Some of those buildings include the East Elementary School, Morrison Elementary School, and Athens High School. By voting ‘Yes’ to Issue 3, you have the opportunity to improve the conditions of children who are in need of change.

The proposed plan for the district is two new pre-kindergarten to third-grade school buildings, a new high school (grades 9-12), the renovation of The Plains Elementary School (grades 4-6), and a renovation of the Athens Middle School (grades 7-8).

In order to fund Issue 3, Athens County will be in partnership with the state of Ohio and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. If passed, the rebuilding will begin immediately. A quick and timely construction of these buildings is crucial, in order to avoid disrupting students’ classroom instruction. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will be responsible for 32 percent of the cost.

There has been a conflict over the shifting of grade levels in the school buildings, and there has been concern over segregation of students in the elementary schools based on socio-economic status. It is important that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, are provided a quality education early on. Primary education sets the tone for future academic achievement. It is imperative in developing a child’s critical thinking skills, goal setting, and adapting to new technological advancements.

By voting ‘Yes’ on Issue 3, you have the ability to give students quality school buildings that in turn provides them with a quality education. Issue 3 is a long-term solution for the educational needs of students. Not only does it benefit today’s students, but it will be useful for a future generation of learners.

Investing in education has many benefits for the betterment of citizen’s lives, nation, and humanity as a whole. Education provides stability, equality, and self-dependence. By passing Issue 3 into law, the students of Athens can strive to proliferate the notion of equal opportunity, which is rooted in the fundamental principles of American government and society.

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