Letter to the Editor: Schools need support from all

Editor:

“I don’t have any kids in school. I live on a fixed income. Why should I pay more taxes for schools?” I could echo that sentiment but won’t. Here’s why I support increased revenue and resources for our local schools. Here’s why I encourage improved conditions – emotional, environmental, practical and tangible.

1. Other taxpayers helped my children (and grandchildren) get a valuable education. My turn.

2. Children are our future; they are our today. We need to invest in them. They contribute – in families, neighborhoods, communities. Today’s ninth-grader is mowing your lawn or babysitting your friend’s children. Today’s fifth-grader may become your doctor or librarian or be the one to fix your car. Teachers and support staff teach and model good values and citizenship. Do we wish to undermine this? Conditions teachers currently face will discourage the next generation from entering the teaching profession.

3. Students need to feel the support of the larger community. How can we demonstrate that we value them if we deny financial and emotional support?

4. Teachers are increasingly despondent over conditions they face daily. They work more than just the school year. Summers include planning for the upcoming year. Evenings and weekends are spent working on lesson plans, grading and bureaucratic paperwork. Saturdays are sometimes spent attending mandated professional development days. They spend less time with their own children, further undermining families. We lose 15  percent of our teachers annually due to transfers, to better paying and more supportive districts. At least two will quit at the end of the current year. They remain this year only because of the love they have for their students.

5. Salaries, resources and buildings cannot remain stagnate and improve.

6.  Two of our schools have lost accreditation. Will this improve our image and attract new businesses and residents and growth? What will this do to our property values? I ache for the status of the local schools. We need increased resources, including financial. We need to support cooperation and coordination between the county supervisors and School Board. Karl Roulston, candidate for District 4, stands for these. Do our students, teachers and support staff deserve less?

Rev. Karen L. Caspersen, Woodstock

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