Letters to the Editor

Public education is a community responsibility | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

  - Bainbridge Island Review photo
— image credit: Bainbridge Island Review photo

To the editor:

I write to ask the voters of Bainbridge Island to support the Educational Programs and Operations levy and the School Technology levy. Strong public schools benefit all of us by raising property values and ensuring a competent workforce to keep our community and nation at the forefront of science and industry.

My wife, Anne, and I have seen the impact of inadequate school funding first hand. It has influenced our decisions about where we want to live.

We decided to sell our first house after discovering that the town where we lived in southern New Jersey did not support its public schools. In that town, school budgets were subject to voter approval, and were consistently rejected, forcing harmful cuts. The tipping point for us was a year when voters rejected special funding items for music and foreign language, along with the general school budget. Such subjects are not extravagances, but are fundamental to quality education!

Shortly thereafter, we sold our house and moved to Moorestown, N.J., a community that supports its children and consistently votes to approve school budgets. We later learned that other young families moved from our former town for the same reason we did, thus ensuring a consistent drain on the youth and future of that town.

Quality public education is a community responsibility. Our future depends on all children having the same access to quality education. As General Martin Dempsey has said: “There’s nothing more important in democracy than education.”

Children are not luxury items whose financial responsibility is solely that of their parents. This responsibility belongs to all of us, and will continue after our own children are grown. Our community’s future depends on the future productivity and good citizenship of today’s children. Please vote “yes” for us all to enjoy a bright, prosperous future.

ROBERT F. MILLER

Bainbridge Island

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