McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 28, 2014

Stop the madness — really? What madness?

By Amy Johns

McALESTER — Stop the madness — really? What madness? OUR public school system needs our financial support NOW. The real madness is that some folks feel it is no longer our responsibility to support our children’s education. That’s the real madness and I agree — it should be stopped. Property taxes fund our public school system. That’s how it works. We are accountable for the state of our school system. Not McAlester Public Schools — us.

It seems to me there are some folks who think funding our school system at the same rate of taxation as voted on 50 years ago is just fine. Well it’s not. The reason MPS has come back for a third time is because — THEY HAVE TO. And they will keep coming back again and again until we decide it is the right thing to do to support it. That time is NOW. If not NOW … when? The infrastructures of our schools are in complete disrepair and the technology is out of date. MPS is doing a fantastic job overcoming, improvising and adapting to do what they have been entrusted to do — to teach our children to become productive members of society, all the while without the necessary funding to do so. I do not understand why it’s OK for our children to not have the best of everything when it comes to their education. The mediocrity of the thought is baffling. The apathetic attitude is mind-boggling.

The public school system is our responsibility. The majority of all area children at one time or another will be funneled into MPS. Technology is replacing itself at the greatest rate in history. Think about how many new iPhones, tablets, readers there have been in the past three years. How many upgrades have you chomped at the bit for? They’re expensive right? I bet many of you slapped down the $500 to have the best and newest form of technology. Our children are growing up in the “everything is about technology” world. We must do our part to get them ready to compete for high-paying jobs and help them achieve their dreams and goals. Just because you think it was good enough for you doesn’t come close to meaning it is good enough for them. It’s not. They deserve our best and that means voting YES on April 1.

It has already been determined this bond isn’t going to bankrupt anyone. It’s annualized and it comes to pennies per day. It’s giving up eating out for a month, quitting smoking or staying away from the vending machines for a couple of weeks. We are talking about the place where our children go for hours every day. It’s the house where they learn. It’s our house and we must not continue to use maddening excuses to not be responsible for its upkeep.

The school system should be the shining star of our community and we are entrusted with making certain that happens. It’s not too expensive. It’s not too fancy. It’s the right thing to do. Vote YES on April 1. It’s a NECESSITY.