Sikeston voters on Tuesday will determine the fate of a $4.5 million bond issue to build a new math and science center at Sikeston High School. I remain confident voters here will recognize both the need for the Center and the benefits such a facility will bring. The most important aspect of this election to me at least is that the proposal is a modest first step in a school improvement plan which will bring substantial benefits immediately.
The current math and science laboratories were adequate when they were constructed. But that was 45 years ago. Technology has changed. We must assure that the facilities match the quality of the programs. Tuesday's vote in favor of the bond issue will assure that improvement.
It's important to approve this proposal. But it's also important to approval the plan by a wide margin. That sends a clear signal to our students and parents that we will provide our students with the tools needed to help them succeed. A strong positive vote will also send a signal to those considering moving to our community that we do indeed put a premium on education in Sikeston.
As part of Tuesday's vote, many students throughout the district will soon see some changes. The 9th grade students will move to the high school campus, the 5th and 6th graders will move to what is now the Junior High School, the 7th and 8th grade students will go to the current Middle School and the alternative school will relocate to the Southwest campus that currently houses the 5th Grade Center. These moves are essential to take advantage of existing space and to better accommodate the grades impacted. All in all, the result will be a substantial improvement to the learning environment we make available to our students.
Tuesday's proposal is by any definition a modest one. The cost for most residents will run under $20 per year. A homeowner with a $100,000 home will pay about 10 cents a day to help pay for the new math and science center.
I've looked at this proposal from every imaginable angle. And I find no flaws. It is needed, it is cost-effective and it will pave the way for a new generation of growth and pride in our school system.
Elsewhere in today's paper is a list of over 1,200 supporters who plan on voting in favor of the bond issue. Those votes alone will easily pass the measure. But as I mentioned earlier, it's important to approve this plan by a landslide margin to show others our commitment to education here. Believe me, that signal will pay long-term benefits for this community. Just ask a company considering locating here. They'll tell you how much importance they put on education.
Join the many in going to the polls Tuesday and approving this much-needed expansion. I'm convinced that Tuesday will be a day of pride in our community. And you can make that dream come true.