Letter: For accountability
To the Editor:
I voted against the last school bond issue. Not out of spite or because I do not support education. Certainly, the only way America will continue to flourish and grow as a nation is with a highly-educated citizenry in the increasingly global workforce. The reason I voted against it was that I wanted accountability for the monies that are currently being spent.
Why do we as citizens always open our wallets when our governments, or school boards, raise the specter of slashing programs (or not being able to provide "a superior education") due to fiscal shortfalls? In the case of educating children in the public school systems, the schools gets many thousands of dollars per child per year. Private schools charge much less per child but provide an equal or even better education. Why the discrepancy?
I believe that the American citizenry have grown complacent in holding our public officials accountable with the dollars we already give them. My major point of contention with the last bond issue was that no one was answering the question of "Why can't we provide an outstanding level of education with the revenue we already have?" Perhaps a new school could have been constructed through cutting back on discretionary education spending within the district over a 2-3 year period? Did anyone look into that?
I have a budget that my family must operate within. If I want to build a $40,000 swingset in my backyard no one's going to care if I hold out my hand and say, "But it's for the benefit of my children, can't you give me some funds to make the swingset a reality?" If that swingset was a something I really wanted, I'd have to cut back somewhere else and simply save. This concept doesn't even seem to be in the vernacular of today's public leaders -- especially within our education system.
The citizens were once again asked to shoulder a burden and the schools didn't have to tighten their belts or look for inventive ways to reach their goals.