Letters and comments for May 6, 2011
Letters and comments for May 6, 2011
PTA supports school, levy
As this community thinks about how to vote on the school levy, we encourage voters to learn about school funding and what taxpayers are currently paying for. It may be less than you think.
Yes, the students have field trips, swim lessons and gardens. Currently, these are being funded by Parent Teacher Associations and other non-profits because the schools don’t have enough money and we feel these activities are important. All of our schools have a parent organization that provides support, though this letter will specifically address examples at Central Elementary.
Some people think that the district spent extra money on the big play structure at Central School a few years back. Not true. The Central PTA donated money, wrote grants and helped the kids with several fundraisers for the play structure, which cost about $40,000.
In addition, in the last year alone, Central PTA provided money for class materials ($150 per class per year totaling $2,250 this school year) and $2,000 for library books. We funded the artist-in-residence program together with ArtsEast, and provided materials and volunteers for art literacy because art is not offered in our elementary school. We even painted the bathrooms.
As a non-profit with volunteer members, the Central PTA is doing all it can to enrich the school experience for our children. We cannot raise enough money to pay for repairing the leaking high school roof, a teacher’s salary or buy enough textbooks so all students are using books published in this century. Fundraising is not easy in this economy and it is not clear that we will be able to offer much more for our schools should school funding be cut further. Therefore, we support the school levy and hope voters will understand the importance of safe buildings, enriching activities and good materials to the learning experience. Our kids are our future.
Emily Insko, Karen Givens, Corrine Dutto, Sheila Sands, Cindy Davies, Celine Vandervlugt, Mike and Shannon Remily, Heidi Halsey, Kristen Limb, Trisha Ingram, Tiffany Vaughn, Carrie Phillips, Tressa Seydel, Rondyann Gerst, Misty Johnson-Carreiro members, Central Parent Teacher Assocation
I am writing in support of the school levy. I have been greatly disappointed that La Grande residents have been unwilling to support our schools in the past.
I think that supporting schools is near the top of the list of things that we can do with our local tax money. My youngest child will graduate this year and I am likely to retire from being the assistant tennis coach, so neither my kids nor I will personally benefit from this.
I commonly hear the argument from those whose kids are now out of this (or another) school system, that “we paid to put our kids through school and are not going to pay to put someone else’s kids through school.” I understand that there have been others who paid taxes to help put my two kids through school (just as there were seniors who helped put their kids through school) and I now have a debt to pay. But I am more than happy to pay that debt and to continue doing so.
I am sad to say that our society seems to no longer value education. My parents in Illinois pay twice as much in property taxes, along with sales and income taxes, to support schools and recreational opportunities (for kids and adults), as well as roads, police and fire, etc. For my parents’ and my generations, the question was not “will you go to college?” but “where will you go to college?” La Grande kids seem to think that just showing up is good enough — and their parents agree. We need to raise the bar for our kids — they will respond. But to do so, we need good facilities and to show that we have high expectations for them.
Supporting this school levy is a good start.