A yes vote for our children | AspenTimes.com

A yes vote for our children

Dear Editor:

Since 2009, the Roaring Fork School District has lost $5.1 million in funding. More cuts are planned for next year. Passing a mill levy will recover $4.8 million.

When our grandson was in kindergarten in Glenwood last year, parents and grandparents needed to provide supplies for teaching and art. When school opened this year, a first-grade class had been eliminated for budget reasons, leaving remaining first-grade classes overcrowded.

Funds were found after two weeks, and another class was added. Now students are in appropriately sized classes. Students have had no new textbooks in three years! How can children be competitive with outdated materials? Teachers have received no raises in three years. Teaching positions have been eliminated. How can we retain or attract outstanding teachers?

We are proud of the academic success of Glenwood High School. This success was built on a firm foundation current students received in elementary and middle school. If we do not support this vote, when current elementary children reach high school, they will not have a strong academic foundation. We do need to revamp parts of our system, but we cannot do this at the expense of the current “crop” of students! It is they who will suffer from an inferior education for the rest of their lives!

A yes vote to support our schools has economic benefits. Individuals and businesses want to locate in areas with strong school systems. Our property values will be enhanced by quality schools. Further educational cuts to teaching and support positions will lead to more unemployment. With recent property valuations, we actually will be paying less property tax than in recent years.

We need a nation of educated citizens. We have had education opportunity. Let’s not sacrifice an entire generation of children in this valley to substandard educational experiences. Students do not have many educational alternatives in this valley. Most cannot afford those options. They cannot vote.

We are taxpayers without a vote (part-time residents) yet strongly support a yes for all the children of this valley.

Frank and Mary Jo Murphy


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