Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor from Woodstock resident John Konop.
County elections can have real impacts on your bank account. For most families, the biggest financial investment we will ever make is our home. The two biggest drivers for home value are typically school quality and access to jobs. We in Cherokee County are very fortunate to have a nationally recognized public school system and above-average economic opportunities.
Many of us have, through the years, advocated for improvements to our current school system, ranging from increased vocational-technical and online/home schooling options to the coordination of co-op/internships with the Chamber of Commerce, using our school facilities to conduct college classes at night and certificate training, and the creation of STEM academies.
Overall, our school board has been very open minded and responsive to these and other kinds of ideas. The results speak for themselves: we have excellent Advanced Placement classes in our high schools with academic achievement and SAT scores that are near the top in the state year after year.
A Disturbing Political Trend
However, some local politicians and political groups use “school improvement issues” as a way to tear down our school system in service to an anti-public school ideology. Not only is this counterproductive and not in the best interest of Cherokee students and families, it hurts home values. I have been a loud voice for creating more school options, but have always been careful to appreciate and build on our community school system’s existing successes.
This November, let’s elect candidates who are committed to supporting and improving our existing school system --- and reject those who spew negative, anti-public-school talking points. People move to and invest in communities based in large part on the positive information they hear about its schools. We need to turn-off voices that offer only spin and exaggeration in an effort to grab power at the expense of our neighborhoods.