To the Editor:
The letters to the editor June 28 about the ongoing funding issues of our school district were disturbing. This crusade against school administrators is ridiculous. Our school district has an approximate budget of $230 million annually, approximately 22 different school buildings and about 18,000 kids. The idea that we would hire the least qualified, lowest-paid people along with not having adequate staff is a recipe for a costly disaster, not cost savings.
Another claim that is often made is that if we dismantle the dual-language program it will save our community $1 million. What does not get explained by opponents is that the school district is reimbursed for a significant portion of the transportation costs of the program by the state.
Additionally, by law we must educate the children who are not English-speaking to begin with. The dual-language program is a more cost-effective way to accommodate these concerns. Plus it gives more English-speaking kids a chance to learn another language in a successful program. Let’s be honest, the claims against this program are more about people’s ignorance of learning another language along with the disturbing trend of discriminating attitudes toward the Hispanic community.
Why don’t we hear suggestions of other programs being cut such as sports, clubs or non-core academic programs? Obviously this would be a very bad idea for the community. Sadly, the people who are relieved by people focusing on administrators and foreign language programs are our state and federal elected officials. It is their job first and foremost to help us out on these matters, yet they ignore us.
As I review the large companies who donate to their campaigns that include the gaming, tobacco and liquor industries along with Wall Street and PACs outside of this state, it is safe to say our representatives place them well ahead of us. Additionally, some representatives have told me that school funding is a local issue and they implied that this issue is not their issue. Perhaps this fall when they call and want our vote again as they tell us how important our families and kids are to them, we should mandate to these candidates that they must help solve this ongoing issue. It would be nice for a change to see them earn our vote and put our local community first.
David R. Edelman