High school student speaks out about budget failure

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:39

    Sparta had a good school district. It was one of the main reasons so many people moved here versus other nearby towns. Notice how that was in past tense. I used to be proud to say that I was a part of the Sparta Township public school district. But our budget was one of three in the county that failed. After two years of these failed budgets, I finally want to speak out about my dismay. I am not so much mad at the people who voted down the budget, but rather I am angry that some people in this town don’t know what their actions did to hurt a high school student like myself. I don’t think people understand that voting down the budget didn’t just lower property tax rates, it lowered the quality of my education. The smallest class in school that I have is 25 people. The most? 33. In short, 30 people to one teacher is chaos. I, being a sophomore, am expecting the AP classes that I was scheduled to take next year to be cut as well. It also hurts me to see wonderful teachers fired, or having their pay frozen again from the school. Sure, I don’t like having to pay for taking part in sports, clubs, and plays, but it upsets me more when a student chooses not to take part in some of these things offered in order to save hundreds of dollars. And finally, the busing system, another aspect of the budget voted down. As I go towards the high school, I see the houses of people in my classes who now no longer get a bus due to their unfortunate housing location. While I live 2.7 miles from the school, the person down the street from me who lives 2.5 miles has to be driven in, or else pay hundreds of dollars to get the privilege of taking the bus. The final straw for me was the date of the vote. The day of the budget vote was on April 27, 2011 as hopefully most of you know. On that date almost 400 students were absent from my high school. Why? Because it was supposed to be my spring break, and most people were on vacation. That means that approximately 500 or so parents with kids in the public school system were not in town to vote for the budget. Meaning that the vote, which failed by a margin of 89 votes according the Independent, was taken while all the people that most likely would have voted yes were not there. That is mainly the reason for having only 22 percent of registered voters turn out. I just want to express my complete disappointment and sadness on behalf of myself as well as the 1,200 kids who will be in my school next year that we will not be able to experience a proper and full education that we deserve. Holly Rudel Sparta