James Hogan works in development at Davidson College and is an education writer and advocate. His letter appeared this week in local newspapers.
As a North Iredell graduate and former teacher at South Iredell High, I am truly disappointed in those in our community who have actively campaigned against the November 4th school bond referendum. Regardless of what the big sign on Jennings Road says, voting no on these bonds isn’t okay.
Voting no all but ensures that our county will face far more expensive measures than the proposed 8.78 tax increase associated with these bonds. Some folks have wondered why our school leaders don’t have a “Plan B.” Let me assure you—the bond referendum is our Plan B. The first plan was to ask our county commissioners, and they let our students down by abdicating their responsibility to fund our community schools.
Voting no shows any business interested in growing in Iredell County that we value our tax rate more than we value education. Our county’s biggest employers—and bond supporters—make it clear which of the two they value most. Good schools equal more and better jobs, and we can still have the lowest taxes in our region if we pass these bonds.
Voting no because you don’t like drama or chorus or band programs (or, more specifically, the buildings called performing arts centers that house them) simply ensures that our next generation of business leaders, artists, and educators will choose to live somewhere else. Voting no makes it more likely that our next tax increase will be to build a prison.
There are a lot of good people in this county with plenty of common sense, and I trust they’ll recognize that passing the November 4th bond referendum will pay off in a big way. Passing these bonds will benefit our students, bring much needed jobs to our community, protect our property values, and secure Iredell County’s future.
Vote yes on November 4 for both bonds. Join that bright future, and together, let’s prove what great schools can do for our community.