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Help make education decisions

February 22, 2012
Mary Lee Talbot , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Dear Editor,

I have read the articles in the Sentinel about the regional high school with great interest. Our educational system is in trouble and we only need look at the front page stories in the Sentinel and Republican to know that school boards are facing tough decisions this year and in the next three to five years.

Whether we are for or against a regional high school, a central high school or merged districts or want to continue on the same course we always have, none of us will be happy with the decisions that school boards will make unless we participate with our school boards as they do their work.

We make our decisions through our elected representatives, not through direct democracy. We elect our school boards just as we elect the county legislature, State Senate and Assembly and our Congress people. We have little leverage in Albany and Washington, but we have the chance every month to see our legislature and our school boards at work and to speak to our representatives about our concerns.

Our school boards are volunteers whom we have elected because they have said that our children's future is so important that they will spend the hours it takes to make the best decisions they can on our behalf. We owe it to them to speak with them directly and to experience the kind of restrictions they face as they make decisions.

Each of the boards in our school districts will need as much creativity and support as we can give them in bridging the budget gaps they face this year. None of the boards can tax their way to fiscal health. Go to the board meetings. Talk to your representatives. Help them solve the problem.

I believe that we are at a time and place that the words "our children" need to mean more than the child down the street in our individual villages or towns. We need to be thinking now about the best possible way we can give all our children the best possible education. Let's give them a fighting chance to compete in the world.

Mary Lee Talbot




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