Letter to the editor
Schools need to think outside box
September 22, 2010 - Dear Editor,
As another school year gets underway for Clarkston Community Schools, I urge our residents to stay involved and not to become complacent about our schools just because our leadership is changing.
It did not take one man to create the shortfalls we are experiencing and it cannot be expected that one man will be the solution.
I welcome Dr. Rod Rock and am excited for what he can bring to out schools, but we also need to remember we have a board at the center of our budget issues as well.
A board who voted to purchase and start new programming in the wake of financial disaster. A board who believed providing elite programming while cutting funds for our special needs students would generate revenue.
We were assured last year that safety and curriculum would NOT suffer this year due to the budget cuts, but class sizes are through the roof and some students have been sitting on the floor in class because there aren't enough desks. This is unacceptable!
When our administrators talk about overcrowding in our children's classes they talk in ratios, 33.6:1. I have never met a family with .6 of a child. These are our children NOT ratios and I take great offence every time I hear an administrator refer to my children as a ratio.
It is the right of every student in public school to receive a fair and equal education provided in a safe environment. More than 35 students in a classroom including our special needs students who no longer have support staff accompanying them is neither fair nor safe.
I urge every member of our community to stay involved, know what is going on in our schools, participate in PTA's, PTO's, and PTSA'a, attend board meetings and let your voice be heard during elections.
Until state funding for schools changes we will continue to see the education of our children being chipped away at piece by piece. It is time to work together as a community for creative solutions to provide the best education for our students.
The time to throw around money, competing with neighboring districts is over, we must begin to think outside the box and utilize and share resources with our neighboring districts.
We have some board members who are willing to look outside the box and try new things but others are comfortable in the box and some feel that what worked 20 years ago should still work today.
Clarkston schools have always been known as an exemplary district and commended for their dedication to all students, let's make sure we keep it that way.