Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I am a parent of two wonderful children, a sixth-grade boy at Ben Franklin Middle School and a fourth-grade girl at Windy Gap. Both are in the Gateway; my son just completed his evaluation for Advanced Placement courses with high marks, and my daughter should be taking the Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students next year, assuming the program still exists. Both are doing quite well. We also know a lot of other kids who are excelling in these challenging times and doing remarkably well.
If I understand the recently shot down 2-cent tax proposal, according to city-data.com, the average home value in Franklin County was $154,000; therefore, the annual tax increase would be $31 on average.
Not only would I be willing to pay $31, but I would pay triple that if it meant the very best for my children and the children in my neighborhood. For those people who have a problem with paying more in taxes, may I ask how much they pay for satellite TV every month? I can tell you that the “Duck Commander” isn’t the future of our country, our children are. Don’t misinterpret me, I’m not in love with taxes, I’m not on the far end of any political wing, and I make the median wage for the county. Our family is far from wealthy, but we realize where we need to invest.
To cut such an enriching program as the governor’s school because it “will not hurt our graduation rate” is a ridiculous and insulting proposition. In that case, why not get rid of football or band? Maybe the thousands of dollars worth of iPads? Maybe the kids can sit outside in the warm months and save on air-conditioning?
The governor’s school is more than just an expensive trip to Roanoke for extra schooling.
Those selected work hard to get where they are and deserve to gain extra experience outside of the typical environment.
How dare school board member Thad Montgomery cast kids aside as ones we don’t need to worry about? He once thought alternative and creative teaching was of value, as he was quoted in the Franklin News-Post, “Teachers should be allowed to use their creativity to inspire students to become lifelong learners instead of teaching to a test.” At least that’s what he said when trying to get elected. Now, he thinks we need to prioritize. It sounds like he supports a line in the middle of mediocrity, where those who can, don’t get to, and those who can’t, get their program “restructured.”
Those kids who are willing and able to work hard deserve the chance to be in the Gateway program, test for pre-AP classes and find a spot in the governor’s school. They should be able to exercise their minds with more challenging work, including the Brain Game. Why start a program you can’t continue? Why would anyone discount such feats of learning? Those who can excel should have all opportunities to do so, and not have their future hindered because their government couldn’t afford to make it happen. The county motto is “Every child, every chance, every day.” Maybe we should look to our guiding principle for some insight. Let’s exhaust every chance for every child.
Thank you, board members Bill Brush and Sarah Alexander for seeing the value of a higher level of learning and valuing the minds of the county’s brightest.
Shouldn’t we have every parent in the county fighting for the gifted and talented program? Shouldn’t all children get the chance to prove themselves and prove that we have the smartest kids in the region?
Shouldn’t we be proud of those graduating with honors and moving on to college, already with some college credits under their belt? These are our kids. These are Franklin County’s kids.
I am disregarding middle school sports purposely. At least there is a recreation alternative so our kids can stay fit and active on the field, diamond, studio and court. Though it now costs to play, it is a small price to pay (about the same as the tax increase) to keep my son playing on the soccer field.
I am urging county residents to be vocal with their local supervisor with the hope that we can free some monies from the state.
I agree with Brush and Alexander that we can make fiscal changes without making all the proposed cuts. I, too, don’t want to see the county’s schools disintegrate, and we have a chance to set off on the correct course.
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