Letter: Westfield a destination for top-notch education

Editor,

I want to say that I loved the article (April 4, “Rebuilding through a Referendum.”) I will be voting “Yes” because I support our teachers, children and education. Whenever you have a growth rate of about 250 students a year to a system, you must expand it. Especially when you are one of the most popular place in America to live! If you don’t keep your educational system top notch then you will soon find people will stop wanting to come live in Westfield because the word will soon spread that the educational system is not up to speed.

Some people may want to keep Westfield small, but let’s face facts. The Greater Indianapolis area is going to grow, and Westfield is the place to be right now unless we make it not the place to be. For one we are next to Carmel, a wonderful cultured area of Indiana. Two, we have U.S. 31 and Ind. 32 running right through us. These are major thoroughfares for people in Indiana. Third, we are currently experiencing a robust expansion in many areas of our community – Grand Park, the new Riverview Hospital, the newly finished expansion of U.S. 31 and I am sure there is much more I am missing.

These things all brings more opportunity for everyone in Westfield like better jobs, homes and services but we must be willing to contribute our part to the growth. Let’s look at our cost: ($32/month or $1.07/day on a $250,000) ($16/month or $.54/day on a $125,000) home is nothing for all of this. I know the generations before us paid for my education, my father’s education and so on all the way back to when the system started.

Soon there will be more business and hotels around Grand Park. Westfield will be a rival to Carmel if our growth keeps up. Yet if we don’t do what we need to do, this opportunity will pass us by and someone else will benefit from our stubborn, miserly way towards our children the future of our city, state and country.

Being a retired military member, I fully support our youth and our teachers. Without a strong, first-class education, no community can fully succeed.

Jason Straw,

Westfield

  • leestraw

    “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, (A)nd if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “If Virtue & Knowledge are diffused among the People, they will never be enslav’d. This will be their great Security.”
    Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

    https://www.nas.org/articles/u_s_founding_fathers_on_education_in_their_own_words

    • leestraw

      The distress of our underfunded districts does not dismiss our Founding Fathers’ call for public education. Rather it highlights the need for citizens at every level to revitalize public education. This includes parents and lawmakers, teachers and students. It includes taxpayers. And it is in everyone’s self-interest. As Adams wrote, “[E]ducation of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.” Benjamin Franklin put it more succinctly: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

      Public schools by their nature require tax dollars. Spending money on public schools does not inherently make them bloated, it makes them public. And while money is not the sole solution, funding will benefit our children. Any time an issue requires tax dollars, the Legislature instinctively screeches, “Money won’t help!” They are right that money alone will not miraculously fix our schools. It is not the magic cure. But necessary public funds will help our students to receive the education they, as American citizens, deserve.

      http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/founding-fathers-agreed-funding-public-education-is-not-a-debate/article_f05aa5b0-2fed-5c63-be1a-1b013cf49625.html