There is one common thread that seems to come up surrounding our educational system – a lack of understanding and agreement with how the state funds our schools. The unfortunate part is that these decisions are made in Helena and School District 2 has little control over these decisions. So, what can we do now? We can choose to make the future a priority. It starts with funding the basic tools for students — textbooks, online resources, career counseling.
Imagine you are working on a construction site. Day one, you show up in your nice new steel-toed boots. The laces are fresh and stay tied. The soles are even and give you a good solid foundation for work. Over the years, you use these boots for work every day. The shoelaces start to fray, so you buy a replacement pair. Next, the soles wear thin, are too old to be replaced. You just need new shoes. Since they’ve helped you to do your job for many years, it doesn’t seem excessive to buy a new pair. Likewise, it isn’t excessive for our students to have the tools they need to do their job. Textbooks get worn and out of date. Online resources have changed drastically. Just like having the right footwear to do your job is important, having the right educational materials do their job is important.
This discussion won’t fix the way education is funded in the state of Montana, but this mill levy is a necessary tool for education. Please look at your feet. Consider wearing 20-year-old shoes to work every day and then think about the 20-year old tools our students are using to try to get a competitive jump start on their futures. Let’s get these kids the tools they need to do their job.