opinion Newport Rhode Island

I’ve heard and read a lot recently on how the “regionalization”, or “School Building Construction Bond” is all about the kids, but I wonder, are they really only about the kids? Perhaps the voters of Newport and Middletown should look at the fact that it’s significantly about the parents. You know, the ones that have the opportunity to vote on the bonds effecting the future education of their children, the ones that pay taxes for that education, those that spend so much time making sure their children get placed in a safe, warm, well-lit, clean, and comfortable classroom.  I wonder how many of today’s parents want a better curriculum for the kids of tomorrow than what is offered today. How many want a better learning environment and realize this is an opportunity to get it at a significant savings on their future taxes. The parents are the ones that will pay the taxes to build the buildings, heat the buildings, power the lights and computers. They will pay for the administrators, the teachers and faculty using on-line resources bought and paid for by lower shared costs for the state-of-the-art equipment used by their kids in the labs and shops. The cost of education is high and will get higher if these bonds are not supported by you, the voting parents of Newport and Middletown.

This is also about the parents of tomorrow who will pay for these new buildings and classrooms. I’d venture to say those graduates 18 to 25 who are voting on these bonds are really in favor of passing them these because they had to put up with the lousy conditions of the buildings or poor choices, they had in course selection and content when in grades 7-12.

So, the question to ask is, do the parents want to pay less for new energy efficient, state of the art buildings funded in great part by the State of Rhode Island in the near future, or do they want to pay more later when the Town  or City will still need to refurbish or replace the building BUT with their own Town or city funds and future bonds; which you know will probably cost more and will significantly impact their taxes. The buildings we have now are falling apart each and every year, the Air Conditioning and furnaces are old and subject to failure and who wants their children in a building with a leaking roof that results in drips of rainwater falling on their kids’ desk?

Lastly, I was fortunate to get a high school education in a truly regional school consisting of students from Jamestown, Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. We had college level class, general studies classes, classes where secretarial career subjects were taught, and a vocational section where students studied auto mechanics, carpentry, painting, printing/graphics, in grade 10 and specialized in 11-12. Now we know this bond gets us no where near that sort of regionalization, but it is a start, combining administrations is a small step in the right direction. Approving the ballots by the parents and all others in the voting community on November the 8th will open doors to and provide educational opportunities not in place now. So, the decision is in your hands, what do you want for the children of Newport and Middletown, an opportunity for growth and development in education and schooling or the same old, same old? Somebody said “It’s all about the kid’s”, right?

John Haggis

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