Bonds arent total fix

Earlier this month, Gov. Bob Riley signed a bond issue that will net Shelby County Schools nearly $20 million dollars for the construction of new classrooms and repairs of existing ones.

Each school system in the state was given a flat rate of $200,000 and then more dollars based on average attendace.

The much-needed money should cut down on the use of portables in one of Alabama&8217;s most crowded (yet fastest-growing) school systems.

Numbers given by Cindy Warner, the system&8217;s public relations supervisor, are staggering:

-More than 25,500 students are currently enrolled in the county&8217;s public schools. This number has been increasing by roughly

1,000 students for the past several years.

-The system will have to use 250 portable classrooms next year just to handle the influx. Thompson Middle School in Alabaster has 28 trailers.

Without doubt, the $20 million dollars will bring some relief via possible new schools, renovations and expansions.

However, as desperately needed as this money is, it is only a bandage for a &8220;growing&8221; problem.

The sad truth is that before the doors can open at any new school, the county will have practically outgrown them.

While the bond issue will mean a lot of great things for the county, it is ultimately our own responsibility to

plan for the future.

Shelby County&8217;s legislative delegation, county and city leaders and the school board must all continually work just to keep pace with the growth. We must all stay on our toes to keep our children and their education a top priority