If you voted no, it’s on you now
Published 10:55 pm Saturday, March 4, 2006
I was disappointed the bond issue needed to fund major facility improvements at Niles Community Schools didn't pass muster with the district's voters.
It was an aggressive plan and a long shot, but many hoped it would be approved. I continue to think it was a plan that would have provided a worthwhile investment in our community's future.
Alas, it's back to the drawing board for Niles Community Schools' Board of Education. Our aging school facilities are in poor shape and that must be addressed pretty quickly. I don't envy them that job.
I've been trying to figure out what message was sent to the school district's leaders by voters. Was it completely a money issue? Will taxpayers agree to fund any kind of improvements in the schools?
What's in the future for public education here?
The school board is going to again solicit opinions and ideas from district residents. If you care about this community - particularly if you voted no Tuesday against this millage proposal - it's up to you now. It's your responsibility to attend those meetings and be a part of the formation of a plan to improve our schools.
Our country was built on a system of quality public education. Today, that very system is in big trouble all across our nation.
The dream of our nation - that anyone can work hard and realize their potential - is founded on quality public education. We all benefit when that opportunity is available to every one among us.
That dream is eroding because the divisions among us are growing wider by the day. Those lines of division may surprise you. We're not divided racially. We're divided economically.
The frightening thing is that many of those with financial means don't want their children to go to school with children who don't live like they do and have as much as they do.
Maybe it's simply that they want the best education for their children, want them to go to school in top-notch facilities and are able and willing to pay for it. But they often abandon public education in the process.
When that happens, we all lose.
What's the answer to this huge, growing problem? We must value public education and be willing to invest in it. Even if you don't have children attending school here now, if you care for this community and its future, we must continue to provide the opportunity for quality education for all our children.
If you cared enough about this particular issue to write letters to the editor or postings on our website urging others to vote against it, it's your job now to be equally as active in finding a solution for what ails Niles schools.
Your children and grandchildren are counting on you.