The budget should stay as is

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:39

    My husband and I implore the council to pass the education budget and second question, as is. As Sparta residents and business owners we are prepared to accept the increase in taxes to benefit the educational community and young people who utilize its resources. It is imperative that residents see the necessity of supporting our school system. The success of the school system not only impacts the future of Sparta’s youngest, it has a direct effect on the house values of this town. This, in turn, corresponds with revenue the township acquires through taxation and correlates to services the local government can provide. With the current economy, it is even more important that Sparta keep its reputation as a wonderful place to raise and educate children. It is through this reputation this community will continue to be an attractive choice for both its current and future residents and business owners. It is the responsibility of the adults of this town to consider how their choices impact the next generation. We must model the civic lesson of making sacrifices for the greater good and remember that we are making decisions for people that do not have a voice. These children deserve a quality education! The necessity of the physical education, music and art teachers at the kindergarten-second grade levels exemplifies the district’s commitment to the well-rounded student. This is an opportunity to expose children to the long-term benefits of healthy living, through physical education and creative expression; the additional staff the budget supports directly impacts the classroom experience. As an educator, I know the benefits of class size on students and its correlation to their performance. Other “I” districts make this a priority and the teacher-to-student ratio has its own category on the Top One Hundred School Districts assessment. The reevaluation of the pay-to-play system also demands support. Making sports and activities available for every student makes our district stronger. As per the second question that reinstates courtesy busing, the benefits outweigh the financial burden. The lack of busing for all Sparta students demonstrates poor judgment. The monetary and educational consequence of this policy to certain neighborhoods, families and children warrants its reevaluation. To reinstate courtesy busing allows school start times to reflect the needs of each student age group. This will infuse the district with renewed focus that translates into more effective learning, higher test scores and a better district ranking — not to mention an alleviation of the morning traffic. It is your responsibility to right this wrong and consider what is best for the students. As community leaders you cannot be shortsighted and must ensure the positive growth of our schools, which directly influences the growth of this town. Please support the children of Sparta and pass the budget and second question. The township will only benefit. Maureen and Mike Cina Sparta