At the Heart – Catherine Staunton
Free public education is at the heart of the American democracy. As one of our founding fathers, John Adams so eloquently said, “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expense of it.”
More than 200 years later, states and cities that underfund education based on the belief that “we can’t afford it” are floundering. If you look at the best school districts in our state, you will find that they invest in their public schools. What do they get for that investment? High home values, and incredible town services for the elderly and less advantaged due to increased tax income.
There is always fear of bloated budgets, but if you look at the Clinton school budget for next year you will see it’s far from bloated. Before even reaching referendum, the BOE has eliminated six teaching positions, even though enrollment decline is only 40 students. It also eliminated all new textbooks, and drastically cut after-school programming. We must have this budget pass it the first time around or it will devastate the school system with overcrowded classrooms and continued reduction in the outstanding programming that makes our school system stand out.
Excuses like, “I don’t have kids in the school system” or “Taxes are too high” is completely against the values that this great nation was built upon. All of us, no matter what our age, were granted the ability to have a free quality education and live the American dream. We cannot fail this generation. I encourage everyone in town to come out and vote “Yes” on May 9, for as our forefathers understood, it’s what makes America great!
Published May 02, 2018 – https://www.zip06.com/letters/20180502/at-the-heart