VWSD board doing its duty

Published 6:42 pm Saturday, March 3, 2018

To the editor:

There is much speculation about the bond issue for improving our schools. It is my duty to explain the efforts of the board to improve education.

First of all, the VWSD Board of Trustees and Superintendent do not decide tax increases. As elected officials from supervisor districts, the board is responsible for keeping up with how tax dollars are spent on providing our children with the best education possible in good facilities and a safe learning environment. The efforts of the school board and superintendent are audited privately and by the State Department of Education. The VWSD is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has a checks and balances program in place.

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After receiving numerous requests and comments about improving schools and ratings, the VWSD Board of Trustees hired an architect to gather input from the community and to examine all 14 schools in Warren County and recommend improvements. The recommendations included numerous items such as more classroom space, better security, better athletic facilities, fixes to leaking roofs and windows, more technology, improved traffic flow, more career academy space, and upgrades to schools, some of which date back to 1939.

After countless hours of studying the Operational Budget within state law, it was determined that no money could be transferred to make improvements. Since all board members objected to raising taxes, it was decided to float a bond issue to allow local voters and taxpayers to decide the future of our schools. Understanding that there has been no school bond issue in almost 50 years, the school board is utilizing the democratic way of voting how to use our tax dollars. That vote will be held on March 27.

In communicating to the public recent successes in our community, we point out that our district is the only one with 3 Lighthouse Schools — Redwood, Bovina, and Bowmar, that VWSD led the state of Mississippi in the most improved reading scores, that our kids have won state championships in 16 sports, that our students receive millions of dollars in scholarships annually, that we were chosen the prestigious Ford Foundation NGL Community designation, that we were recognized nationally for our “Leader IN Me” program, and that we have the most awarded Skill Labor Training program in Mississippi . We are full partners with Hinds Community College and are innovative in providing freshman and sophomore college courses to high school students, thereby saving their parents large amounts of money by keeping their children at home and getting university transfer credit for their first two years of college.

In closing my comments, I simply say — If we want to compete with Clinton, Tupelo, Madison, and the rest of the Mid-South, we must take steps to improve our schools. Please have confidence in your local school board to put the students first in doing their duty.

Joseph L. Loviza

VWSD Trustee