It is my privilege to write weekly for this online publication. I take those opportunities to speak to the Christian audience, encouraging them to handle the Word of God effectively, engage the Church faithfully and do so with an attitude that mimics Jesus. I hope my article will also provoke questions in people who do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. But that isn’t how or why I write today. I’m putting pen to paper here to encourage you to support our local schools.
In just a few weeks, on August 8th, residents of Hope will have the opportunity to vote on raising our school millage. The facts are simple. We are near the bottom of the ladder when it comes to millage rates statewide. We have school campuses in our district that haven’t seen major updates in decades. This is not an “our students deserve the best” conversation. We can’t compete with the money that is in the other parts of our state. But we can surely do better…and we are! I am so excited about the Magnet Grant we were awarded earlier this year. I am pumped about the growth we are seeing at our Collegiate Academy. Our Band is rocking the state with ratings and stories that remind us of the Super Band days. We celebrated a Robotics Team (you heard that right!) that earned a spot at the World Competition this year! Good things are happening the Hope School District. Let’s keep the trend going.
Our students don’t have enough. When you walk onto a campus and insulation is falling out of the ceiling onto the gym floor, that doesn’t exactly communicate lovely feelings. Have you been on Yerger’s campus lately? We are way past time to show Yerger some love. In our large agricultural community, our Agri Dept in serious need of attention. This grant will focus on these two areas and many more. Probably the biggest difference will be made when our school district employees can be paid at a competitive rate. This millage increase will allow our district to pay its employes salaries that will encourage them to stay and do their best.
I love being a proud product of the Hope School District! As we dream about our future, Hope Schools must be included. We can’t attract business without a competitive district. We won’t retain students without demonstrating our dedication to them. We can’t retain teachers when the district down the road can give them a significant pay raise. Investing in our students—every student and every campus—means benefit for everyone in Hope.
I hope you will seriously considering for this millage increase. The last time Hope took this step I was in the first grade at Beryl Henry! You can join me in early voting from July 31st to August 7th at the Hempstead County Courthouse from 8:00-4:00 any business day. You can obtain an absentee ballot by contacting the Hempstead County Clerk’s office at 870.777.2241. Or you can vote on election day at the Fair Park Community Center or at the Fulton Library.
Let’s offer our kids Hope for the future!