Still a long way to go

Published 8:53 pm Thursday, July 29, 2004

By Staff
Our View
Another year is about to begin in only a few short weeks for our school age children. It is a time of milk money, dodge-ball and learning the a, b, c's for the smaller kids and football games, first-dates and preparation to move from childhood to adulthood for the older ones. In this issue of the Atmore Advance we've provided a special supplement to you, the parents and guardians, to help with the transition from summer vacation to school.
But it's not just about the children being prepared, but also us as adults being prepared as well. It doesn't have a bearing on what role you serve in, whether you are the superintendent of schools, a teacher, a parent, grandparent or whatever; we have a huge responsibility to shoulder. If you read our story last Wednesday titled "Helping Escambia's Kids," you have an idea what our children face living not only in Atmore, but Escambia County.
Even though Escambia County is ranked in the bottom 17 counties of the state, there is hope. As Linda Tilly, executive director of Voices for Alabama's Children, pointed out in a joint meeting with the Atmore Rotary Club and Lions Club, Atmore is improving in some areas. Our school drop-out rate is decreasing as are preventable child deaths.
These examples of improvement are good; however, if we are to change our status for the better when compared to other counties, then continued improvement is needed. And we, in the roles that we play, are needed more than ever. Last December we stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun for our children when we voted on issues concerning the ad valorem tax, but it doesn't stop there.
Now it is up to our school board members, superintendent, and down the line to our principals, teachers and support personnel to make sure those additional tax dollars are not wasted or spent in ill-advised projects and pursuits. Just because there will be more money coming, doesn't mean we can let down our guard against wasteful spending.
As Tilly suggested, let's be passionate about our kids and their education. Our children are counting on us.

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