Letter to the editor | We all have a stake

April 8, 2014 

I support the State College Area School District referendum.

Quality schools cost money; public schools are under greater stress than ever; public schools are basic to a strong democracy; good schools and quality communities go together.

I’ve toured the school and it does need work.

Deprived of resources and facilities, schools often deteriorate and fall into second-rate institutions. When that happens, many communities suffer (real estate values drop and seldom recover). Parents look elsewhere for quality schools for their children. That trend is clear over decades as a result of great socioeconomic strife (the “Rust Belt,” outsourcing, etc.).

In cities, but now in suburbs and rural areas too, families that can, move to districts with better schools. Our schools are faced with even more pressures now: changing demographics (some retirees have less interest in schools); charter and private schools compete strenuously for public tax dollars; our worst recession is barely over and local governments have tightened budgets severely; and state funding is down.

But many communities with high-quality schools have survived such pressures because their residents realize the importance and value of schools.

Some people think, “Why should I support schools? I’ve got mine.”

We all have a stake in promoting quality public schools. With less than that, we can fall into mediocrity and ignorance.

Is that what we want? Do we want our shrinking middle class to sink even lower? We have a responsibility to our children’s future.

We need to pass the referendum in May.

Dave Hanson, Boalsburg

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