Letter to the Editor

This is your decision

Sunday, August 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Dear Taxpayer and voter,

On or after Aug. 7, people will start asking you to sign a remonstrance or petition on a planned project to renovate our schools.

It is your decision, yet are you in possession of all the facts? Even I cannot answer that question truthfully with a "yes!"

It is improbable that any person has looked at all of the pertinent data and information that needs to be considered.

Some people may feel that we have expended enough time on this. I do not. The decision of what we do to these buildings will affect our school corporation, our students and our community for decades, so I want to choose the best possible course of action available.

When we have a 10 percent variation in graduation rates between our high schools, we need to look at raising the lowest one. We are running two different education systems within the corporation and one of them works better than the other. Why, then, are we not doing something different to improve the graduation rate at Northview? Why is the plan to pour into the buildings in such a way that our elementary education program is basically unchanged and still operating as it was in the 1950s? We need to re-think and modify this project to emphasize a change to our educational system, especially in the Northview feeder system.

We need to halt this project and redo it with maximum education at minimum cost as the goal. We need to cut out those items that are not required by law, required by education that is required by law, and what either does not save us money or contribute significantly toward improving education. We need to add items that will save us money, allow us to use what money we have more effectively and make significant gains in our graduation rates.

The time and that has been expended has not been totally wasted. Much of the data is still relevant if we act quickly enough. I asked the school corporation several months ago to have a "substantially" different plan the requirement of law, ready to be looked at the day I filed the petitions requesting the petition and remonstrance process.

While I have seen no evidence of action on the part of the corporation, I hope that there has been action taken as I do not want to see them do nothing except sit around for a year waiting to proceed with the same plan if the remonstrance should prevail.

We have people within our corporation who feel that we are doing so poor a job educating that they choose to send their children to different schools, some outside of our corporation. Let us take the time and put forth the effort to fix our corporation, our education system, and our buildings in such a way that we are taking a step forward instead of running in place.

The decision is in your hands! Please, make an informed one.

Leo L. Southworth,