March 21 07:00 AM
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Students more important than pocketbooks

Dear Editor,

"Knowledge is power." "Knowledge is the key." Time and time again we hear these similar quotes. They all state the value of education, intelligence, and the vast possibilities that come with it. Sadly, it seems our society does not reflect this view. In fact, in today's world, it seems education is taking a back seat.

A lackadaisical attitude has seeped into the veins of many high schools, reflecting the actions of our legislators. Budget cuts and layoffs have plagued schools all across Michigan, creating an unsure, unstable environment for students. Students are expected to completely focus on their school work, while worrying about whether or not their future classes and teachers will be there the following year.

Recently, Gov. Granholm has launched our legislators into a sort of blackmailing deal. She has given our state legislators 30 days to either raise taxes or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, the "victims" of this "deal" will be the schools. Once again, to help balance budgets, schools may have to take yet another blow. I believe our society needs to remember the value of education, and take their eyes off of their wallets and put them on their children.

Many like to justify cuts with poor performances. If a school has low test score results, they assume the teachers aren't doing their job, and the students may not be worth the trouble. But these cuts have had a major effect on the students and teachers. Teachers are expected to teach with 100% of their ability, but they also have to make do with less and less supplies every year. The prospect of being laid off is also constantly on their minds. Stability needs to start with the teachers and administrators, and then it will trickle down to the students.

A local school system, Capac Community Schools, is just one of the hundreds of schools that will be greatly affected. Presently suffering from supply cuts, program cuts, and teacher lay-offs, Capac stands to lose about $220,000 if this tax increase is declined. If funding is so bad that our schools are already limping, how are they to function with a $125 per student loss?

I believe that our state legislators and citizens need to refocus on what is really important. If this tax increase is denied, our schools, our students, our next generation is going to suffer. Obviously, there is not an easy way out of our economic slump, and many people are being affected, but we need to think about our children, and what we are setting them up for. If we let them believe their education is not important enough to be adequately funded, their futures may be dim and also reflect a lack of priorities.

We're supposed to be preparing this next generation for the big wide world, but are we? We need to remember how important it is to teach, and not to please our pocket

Jessica Bostian, student, Capac High School
June 06, 2007

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