Unity on Wake school bonds

April 24, 2013 

After all the contention, the sharp criticisms back and forth between Wake county commissioners and school board members in these last months, the two boards somehow came to agree that voters should be given the chance to vote on a school bond issue this fall worth just over $900 million. It’s not all the schools need (the estimate for that figure is over $2 billion), but it is vital.

In this growing county the money represents necessities, from new schools to handle growth to renovations of old buildings in extreme need to equipment. A school system already struggling to keep pace with growth and the natural wear and tear on facilities can’t afford to suffer defeat on a bond issue. That would be unthinkable.

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce will likely lead the marketing campaign for the bonds. It has to make the case in a way that will demonstrate to all citizens why it’s important to pass bonds not just for the students but for the community.

Wake’s schools always have been a draw for people looking to relocate from different parts of the United States, and for businesses drawn to the area for access to universities and research outlets in the Research Triangle Park.

Commissioners should be unanimous on this issue, at least, and let’s hope Republicans Paul Coble and Joe Bryan, who have been critical of the school board on many fronts (including leading an unfortunate effort to redraw school board district lines and change election procedures) are out front on the bond vote. They may be sure that their constituents, like most Wake citizens, remain firmly behind public education.

The money from the bonds will serve as investments that will reap dividends for students, for the children of this community. It will help make their lives better and this community better.

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