Brooke voters put schools first

Brooke County residents have shown once again that they are willing to put the needs of their children first.

They overwhelmingly voted to approve the five-year excess levy that generates about $7.8 million a year for the Brooke County School District. That money is significant — it represents about one quarter of the district’s operating budget.

Passage means the district will be able to keep its resource officers in place; provide proper equipment and instructional material in the classrooms; ensure that students will continue to enjoy free participation in sports and arts programs; and allow career readiness programs to continue. It also helps the school system to pay its personnel more.

Members of the community benefit as well, through continued free access to the wellness center and swimming pool, and in many other ways.

The levy came up at a time when district officials were working to navigate a series of serious challenges, which included the resignation of its superintendent amid allegations of improper use of e-mail access and questions about pay raises that were given to certain administrators.

Voters showed they were willing to look past those concerns, however, and made a decision to look to the future.

School board President Ted Pauls and Interim Superintendent Jeffrey Crook said that’s important, and promised voters after Saturday’s totals became official they will spend the money in the way it is supposed to be spent.

That’s exactly what the Brooke County residents have been asking to hear from the school board and superintendent — and exactly what they expect to see happen after voting to approve the levy.