To Those of You "Straddling the Fence"
September 23, 2016:
Last night's open house at Welsh Valley was phenomenal. Our teachers are everything a loving, striving parent would want: passionate, skilled, creative and insightful. We are truly blessed to have such magnificent people teaching our children.
To those of you "straddling the fence", we say again: None of us are advocating a "blank checkbook" for our school district. However, so far our schools remain "first class" beacons of public education and our taxes remain lower than our surrounding districts. Those are both good things.
Supporting continued excellence in our fine schools is not necessarily in conflict with wanting transparency, etc. However, while the tax issues sort themselves out in the court(s) of appeals, we would like to remain focused on our top priority, maintaining the high quality of our public schools and good teacher/student ratios. The Wolk et al complaint demands, among other things, larger teacher/student ratios. Every educator will tell you that smaller teacher/student ratios foster better learning. Period.
We are adopting a "wait and see" position while the court(s) of appeals weigh in on whether the school board did anything wrong. We are hopeful that our democratically-elected school board will be exonerated. Until these questions sort themselves out, let's not leap to judgment.
Often in life, you cannot have it both ways. It stands to reason that you cannot cut school taxes and see zero reductions in our fine programs. You cannot cut school taxes and see zero reductions in our teachers' pensions. (Do we want to lose our fine teachers to another district willing to do a better job of providing for their futures?) You cannot cut school taxes and maintain good teacher/student ratios, especially when we have seen a 50% influx of new kids over the past 10-15 years.
If we can have it both ways, great. But as we all know, generally you can't. If we can't have it both ways, I vote for quality of schools over a reduction in taxes.
How do you vote?