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Readers take issue with textbook deficit

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Letters from Arnett, Pearl question board's spending decisions

Editor:

This letter is in response to last week’s front page story, “Board debates textbook shortfall.” I took special interest in the paragraph that said at the high school, math and science textbooks are distributed to ALL students.
There seems to be some miscommunication in the facts. Last year my son, who was then a freshman, did NOT have one book to his name. This year he has two books for seven classes. His lockermate who took CP classes had books for all classes.
When I asked the principal about the textbook situation, I was told that the CP students have more homework.
If all math and science books are distributed to all students, then why did I buy an algebra book last year and geometry book this year?
What kind of message does NOT having textbooks send to students? It tells them that education is not important.
Thanks to Kim Temple for standing up for the students. Maybe some other board members need to do the same.
Here’s a question for everyone to ponder this week: How can we spend $1.6 million on a new sports complex when our students don’t have the most basic of needs?

Dawn Arnett
TCHS Class of 1983
Milton, Ky.

Editor:

In response to the article “Board debates textbook shortfall,” my question is why was this debate even necessary?
Parents and students indicate the studies in which the child is to be enrolled. With this knowledge, teachers should be able to plan the number of books needed and then add for student transfers based on previous history.
Parents pay a so-called book rental fee each year, therefore each student should be provided books required for each class in which they are enrolled. To say that the state is moving away from textbook-driven curriculum is a poor excuse to not provide books until such time as it happens. Also holding funds in order to be able to start buying books electronically does nothing to help the student today. We just went through an additional 4-percent school-tax increase, but apparently it’s going for something besides education.
Students who are fortunate enough to get the CP (college prep) classes they enroll in have books for all classes. The logic behind this is that they have more homework than the other students.
Why? I was under the impression that all students were to be treated equally and provided the same opportunities for education. This sounds like student segregation based on someone’s preconceived idea that only certain students will go on to college and therefore should get the preferred education treatment. The other students get whatever they can get, if time is available. As per the American Civil Liberties Union, each student has the right to receive the same equal opportunity for the best possible education. To provide books, computers, etc., to a few and not to all students is not fair and [not] equal.
Parents, teachers and counselors can guide and recommend, but they cannot choose who will or will not go on to college after graduation. Our responsibility is to see that each and every student receives the best possible education we can provide. Is that what we are doing?
Remember, “If the student failed to learn, the teacher failed to teach.” We need to think about now, not for “somewhere down the road” and provide the very best education using every means available to the teacher and the student.
Another point of concern is spending $1.6 million for an athletic complex that will serve about 50 students when those monies could be spent upgrading educational facilities, such as books, computers, classrooms, etc., to better serve the entire student body. I agree there is a need for improved athletic facilities, but not at the expense of education.
Where are our priorities?
To say that having a topnotch athletic program will lead to a better academic program is false. Look at the first year dropout rate of college athletes who go to college one year in order to qualify for the NBA draft. That is not education, it is a means to an end—the almighty dollar.
Here is something else to ponder: Why do we need this new facility when after cutting costs, we will eliminate the locker rooms (where are the kids going to change and store clothes and uniforms?), eliminate the bleachers and utilize the portable ones wherever we need them, the fencing and walks will also be changed in order to cut costs. It sounds like there isn’t very much improvement over what we already have. Ball diamonds, and tennis courts already exist at the county park. Why not use them and plan for expansion as needed and justified to the judge-executive and magistrates?

William Pearl
Milton, Ky.