Tax referendum may decide the future of Atmore

Published 1:10 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2003

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
As the year winds down and the pace of life picks up, there are a couple of things that we should all remember to do faithfully.
One is to give blood as often as possible. It is important all year round, but the supply is especially tight at the holiday season.
Another is to let go of the 'what I should be doing now' mentality and spend a little of that precious commodity, time, with the family. That's what a kid will remember.
And since we're on the topic of remembering, please, please, please vote Dec. 9.
There are some folks out there who are saying the schools don't need the money, they should do better with what they have, they never had any of that stuff when we were in school, why do they need it now?
There are voices who say we are taxed enough, we don't have the money to give, and on and on.
There are little towns all around the South that have dried up and blown away, and the residents of this area have the chance to decide if they want Atmore to join that roll.
Where would this town be with no small classes in local schools? Sure, those kids will still go to school, crammed into one facility doing the job of two. Some of the teachers will get jobs elsewhere, at other schools.
But individual attention will suffer, kids who already are behind will fall further behind.
Some of the teachers won't get spots at other schools. They will lose their jobs.
But we can still get by, right?
So what if all athletics are cut from the system? Former players can concentrate on school then, and do better academically. Except for the ones who only stay in school for sports, and the ones who are hoping for a scholarship to college. Those students will drop out or go to school somewhere else.
So we will have a generation of children who don't finish school, out looking for a job. But since they don't have an education, what kind of job are they likely to get? Poorly paid ones, if they can get one at all.
But we can get by, right?
So what if the industries that had considered coming to the area to take advantage of our good location and the industrial parks now decide to go somewhere else because there are not enough literate people here to employ? Or maybe they do come here, but they have to get employees from somewhere else to move in here. So what? Rents will go up, and then the people who are from Atmore, the ones who are paid less than those from outside, because they can barely read, because they didn't get the extra help they needed in school, will be forced out.
They will become homeless, or move away, or turn to crime to pay their bills.
See, folks, it isn't just an issue for people with children in school. It is about all of us.
We all know times are tough. But you want to find out just how bad it can get? Don't vote, let this chance to take care of our schools pass us by. We will all see, in short order, how bad things can get here. And there will be no one to blame but ourselves.
Connie Nowlin is managing editor of the Atmore Advance and may be reached at 368-2123 or email at

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