Education should come first

Published 11:27 pm Monday, October 8, 2007

No one ever said running the government was easy.

Our county and city leaders face tough decisions and angry voters almost daily. If you fund the non-profits, there may not be money to fix the road. If you give raises, you may not be able to complete other projects you’d planned.

It’s a constant give and take with a limited pool of funds.

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But one thing must float to the top if the community is going to succeed in the long run — education.

The work starts before kindergarten these days and it continues on long past 12th-grade.

Local government funds K-12 education through a required millage requested by the schools. But the county also contributes money to higher education.

At Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus a class of future health care providers are meeting in a storage closet.

The growing campus has growing programs but shrinking space.

Administrators have begun to turn away donated health care equipment because they simply have nowhere to put it.

The college has a plan to construct a new building, but they don’t have the money.

Unfortunately, neither does the county. Supervisors haven’t approved a tax hike to fund the project.

But it’s time education came first. Let’s get creative, let’s look at the budget again, let’s wiggle here and finagle there.

Our leaders must decide here and now that education will be funded and work backwards from that point.

It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.