Aspen schools are on the right path | AspenTimes.com

Aspen schools are on the right path

Dear Editor:

As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is a great time to share thanks for the past and vision for the future.

The Aspen Education Foundation would like to take a moment to thank everyone in the community for all they did to support ballot issue 2B. The passage of 2B is continued testimony of the value our community places in the Aspen School District and its member schools, namely The Cottage, Aspen Elementary, Aspen Middle, Aspen High and Aspen Community schools. The teachers, administrators and students are so very grateful for the passage of 2B. It means we can maintain the excellent programming that our community has come to expect.

Structural reform in the way the state funds public education must be a priority. While 2B provides a short-term, local solution, it does not fix a broken system. Our schools will continue to be underfunded until meaningful reform is achieved.

While 2B will generate much-needed funds, the foundation is still expected to raise $400,000 per year for the schools to meet the projected budget. The funding shortfall will not be met with the proceeds of 2B alone; the foundation must continue to raise funds from the community to ensure we maintain excellence. However, maintaining is not enough; schools, like businesses, are failing unless they are growing, innovating and adjusting to a rapidly changing environment.

Our vision for the future is for the Aspen School District to be recognized as one of the top 10 school districts in the country. We can achieve this if we all continue to work together by prioritizing K-12 education. This means teacher effectiveness, professional administration, differentiated learning, an engaged parent community and opportunities for our students that they cannot find anywhere but in Aspen. Outdoor Education is a wonderful example of a program that is uniquely Aspen and that contributes to an array of well-established and respected colleges and universities seeking our students.

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On behalf of my colleagues on the board and in the office of the Aspen Education Foundation, we thank you for supporting us and our schools. We wish you a very happy holiday season and a very happy new year.

Robin Hamill

President, Aspen Education Foundation