To the Editor:

Here’s why I am voting yes for the school referendum … and you should, too.

My children have attended Beaufort County public schools for eight years. During that time, I have seen much to criticize about the school system, and I have not been afraid to be vocal about the things that are wrong.

However, the school system is also doing plenty of things right. Every day, more than 22,000 children arrive at their respective schools. Regardless of the classroom conditions, more than 1,600 teachers welcome them in and teach.

Beaufort County School District teachers instruct almost 13,000 students that are living in poverty – more than half the students in the district! They educate more than 3,500 students for whom English is a second language; that is about one out of every six children.

It is well documented that those factors are major obstacles toward normal measures of academic achievement, i.e., standardized testing. In addition, the schools across the district have buildings in need of major repairs or renovations, outdated safety and security measures, unsafe recreational facilities, and overcrowded classrooms.

As a community, we have a duty to promote the education of our youth in healthy, safe environments. I am willing to spend about $100 a year so that my children do not have to attend classes in trailers, under leaking roofs, or with unsafe air to breathe.

What is it worth to you?

Barbara Mancini