2012-06-09 / Opinions

Lack of Funding Takes Away From Education

To the Editor:

I am in receipt of my Town Crier today and could not help but notice the related irony of some of the articles. The front page proudly boasts that work is nearly finished at the governor’s residence. The governor’s mansion is beautiful and I am pleased to see that the state of Michigan is willing to spend nearly $600,000 to make necessary repairs. I have absolutely no qualms about doing whatever it takes to maintain such a beautiful and prominent historical structure on the Island. Kudos to the state of Michigan for maintaining this elegant summer home.

On the same front page, however, it was also reported that the school can no longer afford to hire a janitor and that the “cleaning and maintenance tasks are currently handled by the superintendent and teachers.” I thought to myself, “WHAT! Are you kidding me?” But, alas, I know it is no joke. As a retired public school teacher, I know the stress lack of funding places on public education. When people question what is wrong with education in our country, these are the things they should be honing in on. When teachers and administrators are diverted from their true focus, education suffers. From what I read in the Town Crier, it looks like the Island is a close community and the communal support to the school is great, but, sometimes schools just need more money to maintain a safe and clean atmosphere. Teaching is hard work. Any teacher who says otherwise probably isn’t doing it right. I find it difficult to believe that a state that can find the funding to renovate the governor’s summer home can’t come up with enough funds for a janitor for the school.

In another article, I read that the Mackinac Policy Conference is to be held on the Island. I bet if the attending corporations and foundations put their heads together for just a couple of minutes, they could come up with the funding for a janitor.

I love Mackinac Island, I really do, and hope to spend as much time there in the future as possible, but I also spent my life in the classroom and my heart goes out to the teachers of Mackinac Island who I know work really hard. They deserve not only kudos, but perhaps even a janitor to clean their rooms.

N. J. Poklitar

Ames, Iowa

Editor’s Note: The updates were paid for through the Foundation to Reinvent Michigan, a charity set up to pay for the projects. New kitchen appliances were donated by Whirlpool and Masco Corporation.

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