Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1631949

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 30, 2017

Community should rally behind school

By Makayla Kessel | Mar 09, 2017

To the editor:

During a time when the new Secretary of Education is promoting school vouchers, small communities across our nation must unite in support of public schools. Fairfield has faced the tragedy of urbanization in the form of several large budget cuts over the past decade and this year the casualty is one of our beloved elementary school buildings. While Libertyville Elementary has consistently been a high-performing building, one must ask if a building truly is the reason that these students have been successful.

Some parents are calling for a mass exodus of the Libertyville students in favor of nearby Pekin, Cardinal, and Mt. Pleasant School Districts. However, the problem that Fairfield is facing is not that of larger class sizes but that of weaker community support. Pekin is not a strong school because it is small, but because the parents and community rally behind that school. Fairfield lacks this support and die-hard dedication from parents.

Before pulling out of a district that desperately needs more students, parents should consider what they can do personally to address the gaps they foresee.

If students open-enroll out of the district, the students whose parents can’t afford the time or money involved with transporting their children to another community will be the ones who suffer from still harsher budget cuts. For each child that leaves, the budget will constrict tighter and tighter.

Education is not something that begins when a child arrives in their kindergarten classroom – it is a lifelong endeavor that at its heart relies on the parents and community of support that a child receives. Education is an initiative that each individual child and their parents must take because the tools are there for students to receive a truly wonderful education from the Fairfield Community School District.

Take it from someone who went to Pence, graduated from FHS and had wonderful teachers all along the way that made it possible to now be a deans list student at Georgetown University. When you start to question what’s best for your child’s education, remember that it takes a community of support to raise a kid, not small class sizes.

 

– Makayla Kessel, FHS Class of 2014

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