Vail Daily letter: Pass 3B for the future
Avon, CO Colorado
In July of this year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited Eagle County Schools as an example of school districts demonstrating leadership and best practices in teacher development. Our small district is recognized nationwide.
I will be voting yes on 3B, but it is not because I have two children in Eagle County Schools. I recognize that educating our kids is the single most important move to secure our future as a society. If we don’t educate the kids in our school system, we will be left with an under-educated population who will be less likely to attend college, and even high school.
Kids who don’t attend high school or college will be less capable of filling a valuable role in our society and making a living. If they can’t compete for earnings, they may not be able to afford health and auto insurance, may end up on welfare, and won’t contribute as much to the tax base.
If we don’t want to pay as much into taxes as we do (I suspect that’s the primary reason that many oppose 3B), I submit that the surest route to that end is to have more citizens paying their share. If people work at well-paying, fulfilling jobs, they will be more capable of doing their part, consequently lessening our burden. Even if we don’t have kids, voting in opposition of 3B will ultimately affect all of us.
Our school district is making do with less. The district has dealt with huge cuts, yet continues to improve test scores, narrow the achievement gap, and serve as a model for other progressive districts around the country.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
So far, most the district has managed to avoid large cuts to teacher numbers. However, there is little else to cut, so the next round of cuts will greatly affect teacher-student ratio. An increase in students per teacher has been shown to decrease performance and increase teacher turnover.
Teachers spend more time with our children than we as parents do during the school year. Hiring the best teachers, retaining the effective ones by compensating them fairly and demanding excellence is paramount.
I fear that the further massive cuts proposed if 3B does not pass will be too much for the district to bear, and our positive momentum will be lost. We need to think of the future, and society as a whole, rather than serving only ourselves now.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey