Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Get the facts

March 31, 2005, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: 12:00 a.m.

To the editor:

I would like to talk about the long-term impacts of passing the school bond issue on the April 5 ballot. I have seen fliers and advertisements recently saying that "buildings don't teach kids, teachers do." Telling voters to "vote with your pocketbooks." I agree that buildings don't teach kids : but I ask you to get the facts about how environment and safety impact learning, and how buildings attract and retain the best and the brightest teachers when they know that the technology and resources that they need to teach in the 21st century will be there for them. I also agree that we should ALL vote with our pocketbooks : understanding the long term impacts of passing this bond issue now and the difference between spending money and investing our tax dollars.

I have also seen advertisements and fliers telling voters "don't be guilted into voting for children." Make no mistake - this bond issue is all about children! It is about our willingness as a community to provide our children the best possible educational environment within our means. It is about providing our children with the best possible tools, resources and curriculum that we can afford. It is about the ability of our community to attract and retain the best possible teachers to teach them. It is about the willingness of our community to invest in our children, leverage our resources and partner with the City and private sector when and where appropriate to maximize efforts that promote citizenship, opportunity and growth in our community. These things along with Lansing's long history of providing educationally for our children will allow them to stay in or return to Lansing to work, live and raise their families.

This bond issue is about more than a building and an auditorium. It is about looking into the future and seeing that in the next five to 10 years over half of our teachers will be eligible for retirement, and we must attract the highest caliber of teachers to replace them. It is about Standards of Excellence, the highest ACT scores in the Metro area and pride in self and community. This bond issue is definitely about our children. Our children are our future, and the small investment we make today through passage of this bond issue will give us a return on our investment that cannot be measured in just dollars and cents, but should also be measured in lives touched, opportunities afforded and quality of life for all.

Please join me and vote YES on April 5.

Shelly Gowdy

Parent, Taxpayer, Lansing USD469 School Board president

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