High-Quality Education Is Worth the Cost
Byline: Fred Norris
The upcoming school referendums in Geneva and St. Charles mean it's time for us to reconcile our thoughts between doing what we know is the right for our youth and dealing with inevitable added property taxes. We have to evaluate the proposals/propositions put forth by a dedicated citizen task force. After years of discussion and deliberations on many alternatives, they have presented their findings to the elected school boards for their endorsement and presentation to the voters on March 17.
Quality education in the Tri-Cities area is probably the one key ingredient in the "quality of life" we all enjoy. Ask any Realtor why our property values continue to improve and they will probably say schools. Ask any parent who is aware of what's happening in a classroom, in athletics, music or arts, or any of the panorama of extracurricular activities. They'll tell you how fortunate we are to have the teachers and facilities we enjoy. The prosperity of the area has its origins in our schools and those teachers who have helped us discover and develop our inherent talents.
It's been my privilege to meet and know many teachers as a student, a parent, a businessman and an elected official. I have found educators, as a group, to be easy to meet, well-informed and for the most part excellent role models. A few years back, I had the opportunity to spend "a typical day" at the high school with a student's regular daily schedule. I saw tremendous results being achieved in the classrooms, labs and band/orchestra/ choir rooms. I saw motivated kids cajoled, nudged and assisted in coming up with answers, conclusions and responses. The working rapport between student and teacher was excellent.
The president of the United States and the governor of Illinois have declared excellence in education as a priority. Education is also a top priory in our fast-changing business world. Our new economy is based on change at a dizzying pace. "The three R's" no longer constitute an education, anymore than a knife and fork constitute a dinner. The aim of educators I've seen in the Tri-Cities today is more along the line of giving students a living fund of knowledge from which they can generate ideas.
One of the most frightening things in our world today is ignorance, not merely the lack of knowledge but the ignorance of not knowing there are better things for us, better more efficient ways of doing things. …