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Home » Archives » November 2010 » Support Full School Funding

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11/19/2010: "Support Full School Funding"

By Rick Thompson

As the legislative session begins in January, I want to ask the community to advocate once again for our public school students. We all know these are difficult times. There are choices we all have to make.

Our elected officials have no small task in prioritizing state spending while the revenues are shrinking.

We must, however, keep in mind that support for high quality education is not only for our students but also for our own future. It is the young men and women enrolled in our schools today who will become the leaders in the global economy and solve the complex problems we face today.

Our schools have had to do more with less, due to the state cutbacks over the last two years. This community has done a remarkable job supporting our teachers and our students by donating time, energy, talent, and money to keep programs alive. This high level of support, along with high passage rates for local school levies means our students can access the highest quality education possible.

The trouble is this: The vast majority of our funds come from the state. And when state revenues are down, public schools will feel the impact. As of this writing, the legislature has a $500 million dollar deficit to deal with for this year, as well as a $4.5 billion dollar deficit for the next biennium. Your help is needed. Here is what you can do to help.

One, you can donate to the San Juan Public Schools Foundation. This hard working group of citizens raises money to support programs we have come to enjoy. Their website is For those of you who donated to the annual phone a thon"thank you! Another way to support is to encourage our teachers to keep up the hard work of teaching students. Your words of encouragement and support mean a lot. Third, you can let your legislators know that we support full funding of public education, including maintaining low class size, professional development for our staff, and adequate support services necessary to meet all of our student needs.

You can let our elected officials know that it is the “paramount duty” of the state to fully fund public education as described in the state constitution. It is essential to maintain low class size so that each of our students can meet state standards in an environment where they can get the attention they deserve. Note that schools have already taken cuts which have impacted the quality of education we can provide. By fully funding high quality education we are funding a bright future for us all.

Thanks for listening. Please let me know how our district is doing.

(Rick Thompson is the SJI Superintendent of schools)

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