OUR OPINION: Baldwyn bond vote shows strong community support of education

Residents of the Baldwyn School District spoke loud and clear last week when they overwhelmingly supported a $2 million bond issue to fund construction of a career and technical education facility aimed at providing students an opportunity to succeed in college and the workforce.

The bond issue passed with 85 percent support last week with official voting results showing 384 votes in favor of the bond issue and 68 votes against it.

The vote of confidence to expand educational opportunities for students in the Baldwyn School District is the most recent in a long string of such action by communities in Northeast Mississippi, a region that has historically supported public education.

Prior to the passage of the $2 million bond last week, the school district already had two existing school bonds that will expire in 2022 and 2024.

In 2015, the Tupelo Public School District got a huge vote of confidence when residents resoundingly passed a $44 million bond request to fund infrastructure upgrades, security features and added technology. That was the fifth bond issue Tupelo has passed since 1981.

In 2013, Lee County voters passed by a wide margin a request from the Lee County School District to issue $13.5 million in new bonds to fund various construction and renovation projects throughout the school district. That was the third bond request in the school district’s history. All have been successful.

The support Northeast Mississippians often show their school districts represents the value we place on education and an understanding that providing students with every opportunity to succeed in the classroom is the best way to build communities for future success.

That’s no different in Baldwyn, where residents chose to invest in the construction of a vocational-technical center on the district’s high school campus.

The new building will include four classrooms that will house vocational classes including furniture manufacturing and manufacturing technician courses.

At 11,900 square feet, the vo-tech center will also contain two workshops with extended ceilings, one conference room, four offices, two bathrooms, a lobby, a dock lift and expandable entrances.

The district will be the second in Mississippi to offer furniture manufacturing. The manufacturing technician class will be exclusive to the Baldwyn School District.

District leaders have partnered with APMM, Southern Motion and HM Richards industries to develop these classes, and the companies have made several equipment donations as well.

The center will offer a unique and rewarding experience for students by directly connecting them to an industry that helped build this region.

And that connection wouldn’t be possible without the overwhelming support of Baldwyn residents.

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