Support kids’ futures

The future of our great state is on my mind. I wonder what will come next for West Virginia. How can the citizens of this state imagine a positive economic climate and how will they see that imagining become reality?

Investing in education is certainly a huge step in securing economic development. Investing in education may be the most important step. Of every resource our state has to offer, it is the children who are the most precious. Invest in them.

United States Senator (New Jersey), Cory Booker, said, “Kids born into certain ZIP codes will most likely have certain educational outcomes. And we’ve got to end that. If we end that, we explode economic development.” His words resonate with me as I consider the future of West Virginia. I want to see our children educated in a way that allows them opportunities for good jobs. I want them to be prepared to accept the challenges that come their way and to lead this state in a positive direction.

Investing in those children means supporting those who choose a career in public education. That support must come from a variety of sources, and one of those sources is the West Virginia legislature. I call upon our legislators to focus on finding solutions that will allow an investment in our children. Recruiting and retaining the best educational employees is a big part of this.

Any legislation that silences the voices of our teachers and service personnel is wrong. Inactivity with securing funding sources to provide decent wages and benefits is counter-productive. Keep the focus on our students and their future, which is, after all, our future.

Gregory Merritt