Melanie Zwick: Education takes precedence over business concerns
To the Editor:
I find it problematic that the Fraser Valley business community seems more concerned with their perceived issues than the quality of education offered by the East Grand School District.
The community committee charged with presenting options for operating with a reduced budget chose to make quality of education the most important criteria for their decision-making. I hope that the board will also choose to make quality of education their priority during their decision-making.
Do these business people think districtwide schools with nothing but core classes are going to be attractive to prospective residents or businesses? How about for existing residents? All of the schools would be a shell. Think of the “fun” things at school and the activities that parents and the community participate in that would all be cut. Art shows, plays, Christmas programs, band and choir concerts, sports games and meets, field trips … not to mention the things like the already all-but-non-existent gifted and talented programming and English Language Learners programs.
These all contribute to a well-rounded education and all of these and more would have to be completely axed to attempt to approach the needed budget goal. Business people, this is about the education of children, not your bottom line, which will certainly be reduced with poor education.
Comments were made about busing young kids to Granby. If you lived in the city, your young child would most likely be on a bus for more than the 20 minutes it takes to get to Granby. Additionally, because of bussing logistics, consolidation of the schools in Granby would result in a later school start time than what Fraser currently has. I know there have been complaints in the past about the early start of the school day in Fraser.
As I see it, the business community of the Fraser Valley would choose an inferior educational experience for the District children as well as increased property taxes for business and residential property owners of the District. The District will yet again be asking for an increase in property and possibly other taxes to keep the Fraser Elementary School open to offer nothing but a basic core curriculum throughout the District.
More taxes, worse education. It just doesn’t add up.
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