Vote "Yes" for Kids

An Open Letter to the Community
The school bond referendum vote on May 25 will truly tell us a lot about who we really are as a community.  Our educational institutions reflect the value we place on our children and on education.  It will tell us if we are willing to invest now for a greater future. Our local schools should be a source of pride, a symbol of our community's determination to ensure a better future for everyone who lives here.  The support you give your local school reflects the value you place on learning, a value that is imitated by our children.
Good schools affect everyone: 
-- Students get the skills they need to become productive citizens.
-- Business and industry are attracted to locations where good schools create a well-qualified workforce and a higher standard of living.
-- Whether you have children in the school system today or not, the quality of services we will receive in the future depends on the skill sets children learn today in our current schools.

We need to upgrade the schools' technology so that students can learn the necessary skills for the 21st century.  If our students are not exposed to learning, which includes the use of computers and the internet, their ability to successfully compete for jobs in today's workplace will be compromised.  It is every citizen's responsibility, in the spirit of paying it forward, to help prepare our children for a successful future in business and industry, making them more valuable assets to the workforce and the community.  Modern schools can provide that.
Our schools are overcrowded and in bad shape, and we need to upgrade our facilities so our students can learn in a clean and safe environment. As buildings deteriorate, or are being used beyond their intended capacity, the cost of maintaining these buildings increases.  There comes a point when it is wiser to build a new school instead of paying the higher costs of maintaining aging facilities not designed to accommodate the electrical, mechanical, and instructional technology needed to provide a quality education.  We cannot expect our kids to strive to be their best when our example of facilities says that mediocre, or worse, will do.
Upgrading our public school facilities will create a stronger, better educated workforce that will attract business investment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that by 2020 there will be a 22 percent increase in the number of jobs that require education beyond high school.  Yet, during the next 20 years, we will lose about 46 million skilled workers as baby boomers retire.  Communities need a well educated workforce to sustain growth and to raise productivity in order to support such a large group of retirees. 
There will never be an easy time to make this investment, but we know that waiting will not make it better.  Aiken County schools are our local responsibility, and it is time to step up to the plate and do the right thing for our community's future.
I encourage you to "Vote Yes for Kids" on May 25th.
Dr. Liz Stewart
Stewart and Associates, Inc.

Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce                                                                                                                                  

"If we are to compete in a competitive global economy, our investment in education must be sufficient to produce good citizens and a world class workforce.  This includes making investments in educational technologies and in schools facilities." 
Frank Thomas
Security Federal Bank
"I believe the school bond referendum is important for Aiken County because a strong educational system fuels a strong economy. I don't believe we can wait for the "perfect" time to proceed. Many of our schools are in desperate need of attention and providing a good learning environment for our children must be a top priority."
Dr. Deidre Martin
USC Aiken

"I support the school bond referendum  because I believe new schools will attract new businesses and industry to the area, and it will allow us to keep up with technological advances that will help prepare a more qualified and skilled workforce."
Joe E. Lewis
Savannah River Banking Co.

"I have been fortunate to be a lifetime resident of Aiken County. The pride that I have in our county is only dampened by the lack of support given in our efforts to ensure that our children receive excellence in Education - and excellence in the facilities in which they receive that education. It is essential that we support the School Bond Referendum today for the success of those who must move us ahead tomorrow. "
Brenda Stein
Veracity Payment Solutions, Inc.

"Enhancing school facilities and supporting technology means investing in our students' and in our community's future.  We need a strong business community with a well educated workforce to keep our economy strong and viable."
Dr. Gemma Frock
Aiken Technical College

"Passage of the School Bond Referendum will mean enhanced facilities and better technology for our future work force.  If we are going to compete in a global economy tomorrow, we must invest in our future today."
Liz Neal
The Hills of Cumberland Village 

"My children attended some of the newer schools, and I still have a 12-year-old in public school.  I feel that every child deserves to have the same advantages that newer technology can bring, and I am willing to help pay for that."
Cindy Meares
Elliott Davis, LLC

"A positive result of the election will send a clear message that we believe in the future of Aiken County and are willing to invest to ensure that we are known as a great place to live, learn and work."
J. David Jameson
President and CEO
Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce

School District Bond Referendum
May 25, 2010
Polls open 7 AM to 7 PM
Are you registered to vote on this bond?
Check your voter registration status as well
as your polling location.




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