Vote May 7, 2013!

Public education began with the first school in 1635 in the Massachusetts Colony. The Boston Latin School was founded and continues today as the first and oldest existing school.  After the Revolutionary War, it was recognized that an educated citizenry was vital to the health and success of our young nation.  This idea continued to develop alongside the growth of our nation. By 1870, there was a focus and emphasis on education.  The movement to have all states offer free public elementary school had begun as a result. Literacy rates in the United States were high.

Thirty years later, at the dawn of the 20th century, the purpose of public education became clear.  Educators realized post secondary school were needed. The premise was that an educated electorate could build more educated citizens, develop skills needed to increase prosperity in the United States, and improve both critical and logical thinking skills.  Today, these same qualities exist as the foundational tenants behind public education.

In 1917, the National Education Association (NEA)reorganized. Their competition is the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).  According to Wikipedia, both organizations’ goals are to “better mobilize and represent teachers and educational staff”. Wikipedia also states “the NEA saw itself as an upper-middle class professional organization, while the AFT identified itself with the working class and the union movement”and is located more in larger cities. In Ohio, there is another teacher labor organization, called the Ohio Education Association (OEA). According to the OEA web page (About OEA – History), “The Ohio Education Association has a long and proud history of advocating for children in public education”, founded in Summit County in December of 1847.

Our nation and state economy have yet to fully recover from this recent recession. Through these challenged times, we all have been forced to make tougher choices than we would have preferred. Some were humbling to many.  People experienced a loss of homes, savings, and a degree of security. Maybe you went on unemployment for the first time in your entire life and struggled more than you had in the past to put food on the table for your family. Your retirement benefits dwindled; you may be re-employed at a lower pay scale; or you had to take a pay cut, just to survive.

Our school district is not immune to these same uncertainties.  An uncertain economic future impacts not only individual households, but also those entities which are dependent on the financial support from those same households. At the April 25, 2013 Board of Education meeting, the board discussed that over $233,000, yes, over $233,000 in school fees are uncollected – delinquent. School fees are extra charges to parents for consumable goods used in educating their children. Obviously even our community has not recovered and things must be tight for our families in Springboro.

As our year progresses, as citizens, you will have at least 3 opportunities to exercise your electoral rights. May 7 is around the corner.  Regardless of which way you vote on May 7, it is your duty to perform due diligence upon the issues, evaluate the arguments, then vote based upon rational reflection.

Please share this message with your friends and family, encourage them to take a few minutes, learn about the issues on the May 7 ballot and vote.  Isn’t that one of the main purposes of public education?  Not to mention one of the freedoms we have by living in the United States of America.

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