Early in our marriage duct tape was the universal fix-it. Thankfully, we moved on to more permanent solutions for home repair, investing in the right fixes that lasted. Unfortunately, nearly a decade after the failed referendum, Avon Schools are still stuck with the duct-tape solution.
In 2004 our oldest daughter, Grace, had 21 pupils in her kindergarten class. Her elementary experience was wonderful: small class sizes, an enriched curriculum with field trips, a librarian who inspired a passion for reading. Grace graduated to middle school, took challenging honors classes, joined clubs and sports teams, and learned from teachers who knew her well and guided her through adolescence. Avon invested in Grace and her future.
Grace’s sister Katherine (7 years younger) started first grade following the property tax caps and referendum failure. Katherine’s first-grade classroom had 28 pupils. The curriculum was less challenging, she took fewer field trips, and there was no school librarian. This year, Katherine graduated to a middle school with access to fewer sports and honors classes. Her middle school’s tennis courts sit unused; the school unable to resurface them. Her education is duct taped together.
I don’t blame teachers or administrators. They do their best and achieve some miraculous successes-with their limited resources.
There comes a time when you must lay firm foundations and invest in permanent solutions. Now is a time for our community to invest in our teachers, a time to invest in our children, a time to invest in our future. Duct tape just won’t do.