The most crucial element in any educational system is the connection between a student and their teacher. Skills and knowledge develop from within this relationship as well as attitudes and values. These impact young learners throughout their lifetimes and form the foundation upon which their life's journeys take them.
It is extremely important, then, that this relationship for our children and grandchildren be as strong and positive as possible.
Unfortunately, many trends in education in Montana over the past several years have served to weaken the critical student/teacher relationships — and, thus, diminish the potential contributions each student can make in their lives.
The most troubling trend is that there are more and more classrooms in Montana that have exceptionally high student/teacher ratios. With budgets being relentlessly tightened, school districts are being forced to maintain class sizes that exceed accreditation standards. The State of Montana, simply, has not provided enough funding to hire enough teachers to meet the mandates it has established.
Like many other Montana school districts, Lockwood and Billings have been forced to turn to local voters for more support through mill levy elections this spring. Since there is nowhere else to turn, local taxpayers are being asked to keep our schools functioning as well as possible.
Please vote yes in our upcoming school levy elections.
Don Reed, Trustee
Lockwood School Dist. 26