This letter is to comment on the editorial concerning the Trimble County School Board’s interest in building an athletic complex. An earlier editorial indicated that I seemed to be in opposition to the complex. That is not necessarily the case.
Several factors need to be considered, including the need for public input, as the price for this project was initially about $2.3 million, to be paid out of local tax funds – no SEEK (state educational) monies. While the Trimble County School system is in good financial shape, it is not rich. Points which need to be looked at include the following:
The Trimble County school district is not growing. We lost students last year. This loss affects our future SEEK monies from the state under KERA. If we decrease SEEK monies, the difference on obligations to the district must be paid by local funds.
We have limited tax basis for our local funds, this being primarily the landfill, the LG&E plant, and our own property taxes.
The district is struggling to meet requirements under No Child Left Behind, the federal program that requires schools to make certain Average Yearly Progress (AYP), especially in reading and math. Our children will live much longer than we will, perhaps to 100 years. They may have to work until 80. We must provide the educational basis for them to earn, to change careers if necessary, and to pursue higher, varied educational opportunities. Our education methods and directions must change, and these will require more financial effort by our schools, parents, and the public at large.
Finally and most emphatically, we must make education more relevant to each student, by engaging each child’s abilities within the school environment. For some children this may involve athletics, but for others it may be music, art, theater, computers, academics, agriculture, mechanics, or business. These areas also cost money, but students lose interest if they are not strongly engaged in areas where they are enabled and can be successful. If all students could and would be involved in athletics, this expense might be worth it. But realistically, only a certain percentage of students go out for sports; then, for many reasons, only a small percentage actually play.
Please contact your school board member, inquire about this issue (and others – they need your input), and suggest some answers. It takes a village to raise a child – or a whole county!
How to contact your board of education members: Kim Temple, (502) 255-4784; Joseph Martin, 255-0845; Jill Simmons, (502) 268-5852; Scott Burrows, (502) 743-5432; and Haley Turner, 255-7876.
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