Lance Scranton: Do you trust us?
February 10, 2015
Thursday evening at Moffat County High School, you are invited to speak and hear thoughts concerning the future prospects for our school district. As a parent, I am deeply concerned about our school district. As a teacher, I have personally experienced depleted resources over the past 16 years and as a taxpayer, I want assurances that monies raised to supplement our school district will be used wisely.
It is perfectly acceptable for people to disagree on matters that concern money, budgets and resources. Some people believe that simply providing our schools with more money is a perfectly reasonable solution. Over the past 23 years that I have been in education, I have never once heard a school district say, “we have enough money.” Money is certainly an issue and many taxpayers wonder if they should vote for any kind of a tax increase without specific knowledge about where the money is going and what it will be used to support.
Trust in public education in our country is at a low point, and it isn’t much better in our community. Unfortunately, operating budgets in many of our public institutions have suffered and all of us are being asked for even more of our income (fees for sports, books, and clubs) to support public education. Nothing is easier to agree on more than the value of our children and the issue really is about our children, but it is also about those who have invested their lives in making a difference and have chosen to teach your children.
A tax of the particular type that may eventually be presented to you is really asking you to support our efforts to educate the children of Moffat County.
As teachers, we strive daily to work within the systems given to us by administration. We don’t always agree, but we put forth our best efforts because we believe in children and their potential. Over the past 17 years in our district alone, four different superintendents have laid out four different solutions for fixing our local schools. I have worked tirelessly under five different principals at the high school level who have each been tasked with implementing solutions for our struggling district. What disappoints me the most is that with each new solution, more and more money always seems to be the answer because of state systems and questionable calculations beyond our local control.
So, beyond all the talking points, confusing budget numbers, and doomsday predictions, your decision rests squarely on one thing: Trust.
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Our school district is not perfect by any measure, but have we done enough to earn your trust? I urge you to consider this as we ask for your hard-earned dollars. I can speak only for the many teachers who work diligently to make you proud of our school system.
We need your support and sincerely hope that we have earned your trust.