----- Original Message -----
From: Troy LaPlante
To: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 10:16 AM
Subject: Johnston School Board election
An open letter to all School Board candidates.
I have been watching the upcoming election with interest, since I have been more politically active these past few years. I have been reading voters' guides, web sites, and the newspapers I prefer. I have also noticed many of your campaign signs along the highways.
I would like to offer this commentary to each of you for which I could find an email address. I see a recurring theme in campaign signs, slogans, and positioning statements. I often read "for the children", "it's ALL for the kids", and similar sentiments. I am wondering when the Board of Education's primary focus stopped being to educate children and became ensuring the total welfare, comfort, and self esteem of those same children. For far too long, we have seen political agendas that have used the guise of being "for the children" in order to push their personal perspectives regardless of accountability or responsibility to those paying for the services.
I understand the need for slogans, sayings, and positioning statements. I have worked in the media and been around long enough to comprehend. However, my concern is that the job of educating children will take a lesser priority than making children feel comfortable, feel good about themselves, the building they sit in, the newness of the books they carry, and the beauty of the paint scheme in their schools.
When I was in school, we were put forty to a classroom, had no air conditioning, we were expected to actually learn, and the only "teaching assistants" were student teachers who were, for lack of a better term, interns. The primary focus was on educating the children, not on the feel good concept of taking care of the children. That is the job of parents, not the school system.
I would submit to you that it is not all about the children. It SHOULD BE all about educating the children. The government is not a parent nor should take that role. Not every decision should be made with the children in mind, as that is a mere emotional ploy to push an agenda. The decisions you will make as a School Board member should be based upon the desired result of having well educated children as well as due consideration for the taxpayers who pay for said education.
If private schools can be creative in their building programs, staffing requirements, and methods of instruction, then our public schools can, as well. Private schools often produce a better educated student for less money than that for which I and other tax payers are burdened to pay.
I understand the need for school expansion with an expanding population. However, I also understand that there is a great deal of wasteful and unwise spending, failed educational methods, and unnecessary administration in our school system. We give plenty of money to the school system, perhaps enough, perhaps not. Spend the money you are given wisely before demanding more. Run the business of educating children efficiently and perhaps you will be worthy of my vote. Remember, you are in the business of educating children, not in the business of child rearing.
For more commentary, I have and will be writing on my web site, www.troylaplante.com.
Thank you for your attention.