A new high school is warranted

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 22, 2006

To the Editor:

Time has ushered in an aggressive and progressive-minded Selma City Board of Education.

Change is inevitable. But, there is always an opposition.

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Some individuals opposed major events that revolutionized the United States and the world.

Many persons (loyalists) living in North America, then the British Colonies, resisted going to war (Revolutionary War) with Great Britain for America’s freedom. Some natives of India opposed Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi’s led movement to free India of British control.

A fraction of African-Americans did not think that the time was right when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the civil rights movement in America. The event/movement’s leaders had a vision and the circumstances dictated that action be implemented to foster change. Ultimately, the masses benefited from each major change.

The citizens of Selma should react positively to the construction of a new high school in a “suitable location.” The entire community will benefit from the project. But, one would be nave to think that the building of a new high school will not be used by future political office seekers as a ploy to garner votes. That is inevitable, too. Nonetheless, the building of a new high school equates to raising students’ standards and elevating the community’s expectations of pupils.

Selma is not unique.

School boards and governments throughout the nation have jointly mounted a campaign/movement to change the physical plant of some schools.

The last time the federal government did a survey of school facilities was in 1999.

According to a 2000 report by the National Center for Education Statistics:

The average age of school buildings in the U. S. is 40 years old.

25 percent of all public schools report at least one of their buildings is in poor condition.

50 percent of schools report at least one building feature is in poor condition.

75 percent of schools report they need more money to make repairs.

About 11 million students are enrolled in schools in need of repairs.

The average amount per school needed for repairs is $2.2 million.

The average cost per student to make renovations, repairs, and modernizations is $3,800.

Nationally, schools need to spend $127 billion in repairs. For 2006, according to the National Education Association, that figure has grown to $288 billion.

The population of the city is dwindling.

Nevertheless, children of the families that choose to remain in Selma should be afforded accommodating facilities. It’s an American’s dream to raise his/her standard of living.

Gerald Shirley


School of Discovery