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New School buildings and improved learning opportunities are not synonymous

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Funding school construction is important but we need to go beyond buildings and support the real learning process. Since education is so crucial to our future, we should insist that extra money be allocated for learning improvements anytime money is approved for buildings. Improvement in learning rather than new or remodeled school buildings should be our highest priority. 

More important than new buildings is an education system that enhances and utilizes the talents of each teacher and positively deals with the learning uniqueness of every student. School buildings are not the most important part of the education process although the health and safety of each student should never be compromised.

I have served on a school board when new buildings were planned and built. Too often the priority for adults who make the decisions for building design and construction involves architectural details that may be impressive and provide an ego boost for the parents but do little to enhance the real education experience. It is no surprise that the athletic related aspects of any new facility will receive overwhelming support. To my knowledge, no major societal or technological advances have ever resulted through funds allocated for gymnasiums, locker rooms or exercise facilities. The best lifetime educational investment is actually realized when money is spent on music, art and creative writing.

The most important building design involves increasing the number of class rooms so class size can be reduced. Teachers are not hired for child-care but rather for enhancing the learning process of each child. No construction should ever be funded unless class size is reduced to an optimum level.

There is nothing more important in our society than educating our children. Support your operation levies and construction bonds but also insist on financial commitments to improve the actual learning process. Don’t rely on our State Government to provide adequate funding. Our politicians may individually support education but partisan politics is not a friend of real education.

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