Source: Sherman Publications

Now we need to think

May 11, 2011

The election is over and, come this summer a new Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education will be seated. We take this space today, to ask the community to think long-term.

It is no secret the state is going to cut school funding, the only question is how much is it going to hurt. But, hurt it will. So we think it is time for our local district, its leaders, employees, parents – everybody to start thinking about the future of funding a quality education, locally.

If you cannot count on funding from outside sources, maybe it is time we put a little focus on funding things internally. And, when we say internally, we really mean locally. What can we fund? What can we raise? How can we cut out our total dependence on the State of Michigan?

We understand there is no way the community can rally to replace $7 million dollars – the amount the school board has determined it needs to whack off the budget for the 2011-2012 school year – but we can do something to deaden the pain.

What can we raise? Well, if The Lake Orion Review for example, were to give a dollar for every subscription that comes in for a year, we could donate $3,000. If we were to have a subscription drive, maybe we can give more (by getting more families to read the paper – there is room for us to grow and this could be a nice win-win scenario for us and the community). We are just one business, but what if ten businesses raised $3,000 each? That is significant.

Residents, teachers, students and parents, however cannot rely solely on the business community to bail out schools. Already businesses pay a tremendous amount in taxes for schools and they are always hit up by school groups to make donations. Residents, teachers, students and parents need to make it a plan to SHOP LOCALLY. We do this in all caps to illustrate how important it is to support the businesses that support your children.

Parents and teachers need to come together and see where we can get more volunteer experts and helpers, cutting costs.

Teachers need to remember they went into the field not for the money – rather to teach children.

Kids need to work, too – maybe less community service hours and more volunteer fund-raising hours. The kids can collect cans and bottles, wash cars, bake cookies or rake leaves (they can sell subscriptions to The Review) – things that will help build character, raise funds and give them a stake in the game.

We don’t claim to have the answer. But, we do know there is a lot of talent and smarts in this community and that it really hasn’t been tapped into, yet. We know, too, we cannot look up to Big Brother in Lansing with our tin cups out. That will get us nothing. We also suggest NOT going to businesses and selling advertising to things . . . that just takes away from our business. Let us sell ads.

The course to us is clear... we need not merely complain about our plight. We need to come together, think and then act. – dpr