Education Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Courage, innovation needed in public education

One third of towns not passing school budgets this year is indicative of real obstacles facing Vermont. I, too, feel the pressure of mounting school costs compounded by the rising costs to live in our state. At the same time, I wonder how, as caring citizens, we can unite to envision a sustainable path forward for our educational system.

In a March 7 letter to the editor, Patrick Lawrence shared his dilemma in voting for the school budget. He accurately understood how a “no” vote in our current schooling structure whittles away staff and programs that directly support students, yet he posed and pondered the question, “What is education for?” I agree with Lawrence that we should consider an education not focused on what comes after school, but an education focused on the present — one that fosters students’ connection to their community.

Perhaps it’s time to get creative and extend the notion of “school” beyond the confines of traditional classroom settings. 

Addison County is rich in local resources such as a college, museums, businesses, artists, outdoor recreation, and organizations, not to mention its people. Through partnerships, could community organizations work with teachers to provide enriching opportunities for children that also supplement schools’ budgets? In doing so, we genuinely knit together the classroom and the community to empower today’s youth to become deep thinkers and engaged citizens. It will take courage and innovation to forge a vibrant path forward for our schools, yet our children are worthy of this love and dedication.

Devin Schrock


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