By Carol Rizzi, Sedona Resident
(October 15, 2013)
It’s important to note education is a privilege not a right. It starts at home with the obligation of parents to instill their children with the value, benefit and joy of learning, partnered by teachers to inspire students. A lifetime lesson is self-reliance, personal responsibility and self -motivation. Have parents, teachers and those favoring the budget override stressed these values in their children?
We know education is costly today, due to Federal regulations in place, yet the school district has its hand out to the government in the form of mandated taxes on all of us. Parents and teachers are teaching our youth to be reliant on government and victims of budget reductions. Are these the lessons you want your children to learn?
Think of the heights achieved by self-taught, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Their achievements are examples of what could be accomplished under immense disadvantage, without a formal education and without continually digging into the pockets of citizens. These great men achieved their education without other people’s money. With technology available at their fingertips children today have unlimited avenues to education in any media, any format. I believe Mr. Douglass and President Lincoln would be extremely disappointed and outraged to see our educational system as it is today and not pursued by self-motivation, hard work and a desire to succeed. Parents and teachers need to create that desire for an education; no amount of money can accomplish this. Our school district to-date has not proven it’s money management skills so that it still depends on overrides to function. They should have worked long ago to be fiscally independent and not think they are “owed” this override just because they have had it for the past 17 years. Vote NO on the Budget Override.
The Budget Override issues is very important to my family. I want my child to know that he can make a difference. I want him to feel deep down that his life and education matter. He is very motivated, inquisitive, respectful and hopeful.
However, if the community in which he has been raised communicates to him that their $40 a year or their anger at the government or school system, or whomever else is not performing satisfactorily, is more important than the future of the children? THAT is something that I think would break the hearts of our forefathers and mothers. Every child, every PERSON is more important than money and politics.
No one in history made it on their own. The great people of history have always stood on the shoulders of giants. The greats always have stories of those who beleived in them, supported them and helped them. Why on earth would we intentionally make things difficult for our kids? Why wouldn’t we choose to be the giants for them?
A very mean-spirited, and frankly, ignorant sounding, response.
The public school system should be financially independent?! Public education is a “privilege”, not a right?
Actually it is a right, by way of law. Just like Medicare and Social Security are not privileges, but rather, the law….both programs I have contributed to,at the maximum tax rate, for 40+years, tho expect to not see much in the way of a ‘return’, personally. That’s what a country/community does for its citizens….it provides for necessary services by way of its tax system.
I am not in favor of much of the tax, and borrow, to spend, that one sees these past 20-30 years, but really, I am so sick of reading/hearing the whining of many of the people in my age group, and older,about not wanting to pay any taxes for the education of succeeding generations. WHO DO YOU THINK PAID FOR YOUR EDUCATION?
And who do you think pays for all the services seniors want/need/ use? Working people, who pay taxes! Don’t you get it ? If the school system is marginal here, and their kids are not provided a reasonable educational opportunity… by today’s standards, not the 19th century’s….. educated, professional wage earners won’t live here, and then who will pay the taxes to support what YOU want?
Finally, really, it is offensive that you would attempt to hijack the reputation of people like Lincoln and Douglas in an attempt to bolster what is basically a selfish position.
Please, go to the public library, paid for by tax funds…. its your ‘right’… and then take out a couple of books on Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. Then, try reading them.
You will learn your ‘position’ has nothing in common with either of those great men…..
I find it hard to believe that you say our school district to-date has not proven it’s money management skills……Our District, Your District has been fiscal responsible while having to cut almost 20% from from their budget in recent years! I know this to be a truth. We can not afford to cut anymore from our budget….OUR CHILDREN WILL SUFFER!
You say Mr Douglas and President Lincoln would be extremely disappointed and outraged to see our educational system as it is today….I believe they would be outraged that people like you choose not to support the youth! The youth that will one day be left to make decisions for our well being! I have seen our children working VERY hard and with a true to desire to succeed in an increasingly difficult world! Our teachers all have 2 jobs because educating our children does not make them enough money to support themselves…I mean really!
If this Override does not pass….we WILL lose good teachers! Our district needs support from our community, parents, teachers and students. Sedona needs good schools to attract good professionals…..that’s just how it works people!
Vote Vote YES for the Override….mail in your ballot TODAY!
I truly respect Daniel J Sullivan and Kathy Featherstone for taking the time to make such an eloquent response to such a ridiculous letter. Come on Carol – you are smarter than that. I am surprised you did not also include Jesus Christ and our oldest relative “Lucy”, all of whom were also self taught.
Fiscally Independent? Our schools are fiscally independent – Only the people who went to school are paying for our schools. If you did not go to school, then I agree, you need not pay for schools and should seek an exemption. I assume you wrote your letter looking for an exemption? Sorry – I could not resist!
Arizona ranks at the bottom for per pupil spending nationwide. When I started my career in Arizona 24 years ago, I signed my first contract for $22,000. Sedona’s starting salary in 2013 is $26,000. We are facing “immense disadvantages” in the profession. Spending cuts have impacted all areas of education. At some schools, programs such as gifted & talented education have been eliminated, school counselors are part time, and registered nurses have been replaced with aides. Most of us who received a free public education are grateful and feel the need to support the future generation of learners – even if this means we have to dig a little into our pockets. Thank you to all who support our override. You make a difference, so we can make a difference!
Carol’s letter is exactly what someone before me posted – very selfish. My Senior at Red Rock High is feeling the crunch, combined (now gigantic) classes, tools/supplies limited, teachers reaching into almost empty pockets to try and help provide, etc. Parents are being asked to send in more & more lab/tool/book/supply fees – and the ones who can afford it are constantly trying to keep classes running by donating what we can.
The kids who will be studying at Red Rock High next year are looking at extremely deep cuts if this doesn’t pass. Rumors out there say there will be no art, drama, music or sports — those are what will go first if overide doesn’t pass. The wonderful teachers we have now will not be able to continue teaching with the cuts to their classes and wages, they are scraping by as is.
These kids are our future. Lets show them we care and have faith in them, and help them get good jobs by being well educated. From the higher wages they will be able to earn, they will make our community and nation stronger and better, and our older citizen’s will be cared for in their old age.
The last time this came up for a vote it only failed by a FEW votes! Lets not let that happen again, lets not be selfish. Show you care about Sedona’s future generation. Please Vote YES on the education budget overide.
I felt the same way as you Carrol until I learned that bucking the national and state-wide-trend of underperformance by school districts and schools across the country, Sedona schools excel. It’s on the Internet. To me that means there are still pockets in this country of parents who do care about the education of their children and some school districts that properly educate them. I think Lincoln and Douglas would agree that in this case, and only for the Sedona school district and no under-performers, a nominal tax increase is in order, though I dare to think if they were alive today they would die all over again at the mess the Democrats have made of the entire country and not just our school systems. Bottom line is we are we getting a good return on our education investment in Sedona. That’s as American as we can get.
Nicely said Sandy – where were you when I was been making all my Override presentations – we could have used your fresh view point. Please come visit our great schools.
Delete that stray “been” – too fast on the submit..
Please vote “YES” on the Override. Our children are our hope for the future!
Carol, if I understand your point of view correctly, people should not be reliant on government services funded by taxes. I therefore assume that you refuse to drive on paved roads, will not call the police if there is an intruder in your home, will not call the fire department if your garage catches fire, will refuse paramedic and ambulance services if you have a heart attack or are in a serious car accident – and, of course, never attended a public school yourself.
Yes, the school district does depend on overrides to function. Whether or not it should be that way is a moot point – it’s reality. The state legislature cut funding to schools 22% between 2008 and 2012. Our district schools are trying to teach our children – who, do, in fact, demonstrate self-reliance, personal responsibility, self-motivation, hard work and a desire to succeed – not to mention a love of learning (if you’d like to see this firsthand, come see some of Sedona Red Rock High School’s Senior Exhibitions) – on 3/4 of the money we had 5 years ago (when my daughter was a student at SRRHS.)
You mention mandated taxes. In addition to my mandated taxes, I also pay an unmandated tax, in the form of the several hundred dollars I spend out of my own pocket every year – unreimbursed! – to make sure my students have materials to do hands-on Chemistry and Physics experiments.
To put things in perspective:
I have a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Engineering and twelve years of aerospace engineering experience. Had I continued my engineering career, today I would be earning between $130,000 and $150,000 a year to build communications and weather satellites. Instead, I returned to college, earned a second Master’s Degree (in Education) and am in my twentieth year of teaching Chemistry, Physics and Math. In that time I have taught approximately 3000 students. I am entrusted with shaping the next generation of Americans – in my view, the most important job in the world. In Arizona, a person with my experience and education who does this crucial job – helping children to become self-sufficient human beings and responsible citizens of the twenty-first century – is paid less than $45,000 a year.