Override: more than kids - Tucson Local Media: Editorials

Override: more than kids

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Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:17 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

I am a parent of a child that attends MUSD schools, I am a support staff employee of MUSD, I am a spouse of a teacher who works in MUSD and finally we have a grandchild that in a few years will need to go to kindergarten in a Marana USD school.

This override affects me in many ways, but the one I am most worried about is my child and grandchild's opportunity for a quality education. I do not want to see opportunity for success be lowered because of an additional small investment for them and the children all over the district.

I am not a native Arizonian. When I searched for places to live I did what most people do — contact a Realtor and began pulling houses that fit my budget. What made me pick one house over another? The neighborhood and the surrounding schools. This is true for most parents when they move with children. I chose my neighborhood over a few others because of the three schools my children would be attending. I was worried since I had one in elementary, one in junior high and the last in high school. I was lucky to find a home in the Marana USD because all three of my children's schools were an A+ schools.

Homes in good neighborhoods with good schools surrounding them bring a higher selling value than those who are located differently. Maintaining Marana USD high standards for their schools, their teachers and their support staff keep our schools performing well. This is not only an investment in Marana school children's education; it is an investment in our neighborhoods and homes.

Below is the letter that was read in support of the override at the last board meeting.

 

We all want a stronger Marana with broad prosperity and a brighter future for our children where opportunity and freedom reign. To reach such a bold vision, we need effective public schools. Effective schools require a highly proficient staff, dedicated to the shared mission of providing a quality education.

However, due to the shortsighted leadership of our State Legislature, our schools face a severe crisis in funding. This has prevented MUSD from fully implementing its strategic plan. Currently, we cannot trust our state legislature to make the necessary investments in our children. Instead, our legislative leaders offer a limited horizon of fewer educators, larger class sizes and decreased support services for student success.

Yet, with this crisis comes an crucial opportunity. We can go it alone. We can determine our own destiny. We can renew the bonds of mutual responsibility and protect our kids from the chorus of cynics that insist public schools are the problem, not the solution.

 

The Marana Education Support Professionals proudly supports the approval of Proposition 400. It will allow us to maintain appropriate class sizes, continue all-day kindergarten, and provide important programs that increase student success. It is a worthy investment in our community's future.

 

Heather Johnson is an executive board member with the Marana Education Support Professionals organization.

 

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