Saturday, July 2, 2022

PUBLIC FORUM: Please vote yes for schools

Dear Editor,

Please vote “yes” on the school bond proposal in your district — Belding, Greenville or Lakeview. Students across the counties need your vote for a safe, healthy and rigorous learning environment in their schools.

Like your home, maintenance and upgrades never end for schools. Constant use by hundreds of people daily stresses infrastructure, technology, buildings and related structures inside and out. Little people on playgrounds, new drivers in parking lots, parents and visitors at athletic events and school performances —all cause wear and tear that leads to safety issues. School boards constantly assess that wear and determine when it is best to repair, replace or construct new facilities. Input from parents and staff, state regulations, fire and safety inspections and facility planning help to determine what goes to the top of the needs-assessment list.

Some parents have expressed concern about students having real world skills and Grenville Public Schools has responded with plans for expanded career technology programming. The pandemic situation highlighted the need for early childhood, preschool and daycare facilities so that parents could work — so you are seeing that in the GPS proposal as well. Belding has made a list of safety upgrades for playground and parking/traffic spaces as well as new roofing and classroom enhancements. Safety and utility are two of their key issues.

Both Lakeview and Belding will address their aging bus fleet, and work on remodeling and/or consolidating current classrooms into more functional instructional space. Lakeview has a need for security at their entrances and each of these district also lists technology updates in their proposals. 

Each district has information online, at the schools and has presented programs to explain why and what is needed. My comments are simply representative examples and do not cover the scope and sequence of what is planned by each district. However, there are no “grand Cadillacs” in these proposals — they are protective of your pocketbook while also being prudent in maintaining buildings and upgrading where necessary.

Legislators tell us that parents feel unheard, yet these ballot requests come directly from what parents and students in our communities need and want. The election is on May 3, which happens to fall during Teacher Appreciation Week — what a great way to shout out your appreciation with a yes vote. Voters in Belding, Greenville and Lakeview — please vote yes.

Jan Wheelock


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