Library funding should be restored | News, Sports, Jobs
In order for local government entities to be truly accountable to their constituents, they must be prepared to admit when they slip up – and then strive to rectify the problem. We saw this happen last Monday when, in the face of a growing number of quarantines of students due to COVID-19 and a daily student absenteeism rate in the district of 20%, the Education Council of the Ohio County overturned an earlier ruling and made it mandatory for students and staff to wear masks.
With the board showing a willingness to change course if necessary, we urge members to reconsider a decision taken earlier this year and restore full funding to the Ohio County Public Library.
Board members David Croft, Molly Aderholt and Christine Carder agreed in April to take a third of the county school district’s annual allowance from the library to help pay for, among other things, locker rooms and l lighting of sports fields. This reduction in funding – a total of $ 294,849 – represents 14% of the library’s annual operating budget.
The move was made even though the library serves as a resource for Ohio County students and their families. The board offered little explanation for the decision.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Libraries are magical places, especially for young children who are just beginning to understand the world around them. Many students who have excelled academically in Ohio County schools have started with story time and other children’s library programs.
It is time for the Ohio County Board of Education to correct this wrong.
In an era when student achievement is affected by a global pandemic, board members should not prioritize athletic fields and locker rooms. They should prioritize learning. The message that continues to be sent here is that education is not the primary focus of this council.
This must change.
We again call on the members of the Board of Trustees to replenish the vaults of the Ohio County Public Library.