October 22, 2014
We were raised by parents, community, and teachers of the Greatest Generation (as named by Tom Brokaw) to be hardworking, frugal, generous, and moral (to live by the Ten Commandments). One of us attended a one-room school, one of us attended a bigger elementary school, both of which met all of our early education needs.
We truly believe that in the lower grades, it is most important to learn the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic. If one gets a good basic education in these, one can go out in the world and learn anything else that comes along. But if you don’t know how to read, write, or know your math, you aren’t going to get anywhere. The whole world can fool you – even computers, from the smallest statement to the largest, and you’ll never know, because you didn’t learn how to think for yourself. And I don’t think that concept will ever change in spite of what people today keep trying to hype.
Several years ago when John Moran opposed Phil Bartlett and a debate was held in Wardsboro, we asked both candidates why the state couldn’t set a standard for every school – a list of what was required of each school to teach the students – and anything extra would have to be voted on in each individual town such as a new gym, a new football field, an aide for every classroom, etc. etc. both John and Phil said, Oh No, we can’t tell local schoolboards what they can have in their budget.
Well, now John Moran is pushing this very idea and acting like it’s a new concept when it has been around for several years and always proposed by Laura Sibilia and the Dover schoolboard..
We first heard Laura speak several years ago at a gathering of like-minded people concerned with the high cost of education and the out-of-control spending on our local school level. WOW! – she had her head screwed on right and she was calling for a statewide agenda for schools and what should be required in each school curriculum, and extra stuff should be voted on by each town whose schoolboard wanted extra curiculum or extra additions to the local school property.. She was on the Dover schoolboard at the time, and Dover has done everything in their power to keep the school expenses under control, but the state and federal governments have made it very difficult to keep up that practice.
Laura doesn’t just accept what people tell her – she goes out and digs for the truth, and the consequences, of what will happen if certain new rules are put into law. And she can tell you why certain new ideas (consolidation of schools and a cap on the ed tax rates are two) won’t work and what she believes would be a better way of doing it – all very sound and sensible thoughts.
We need young people like her – she is not new to Montpelier, having been up there many, many times giving evidence of ideas that should be the new future of Vermont education and funding. We believe in change at the local level to get new ideas and new topics out there for the citizens to ponder.
We speak of education costs mostly because that is what makes our property taxes so doggone high! But there are many other areas that our local representative will be addressing – Mr. Moran has had his 8-9 years of getting his ideas put into law – it is now time for new, fresh, reasoning to have a chance as the old laws and rules aren’t working out so well.
We will be supporting and voting for Laura Sibilia as she is a truly concerned citizen who will work hard in Montpelier for ALL of us and be fair to ALL of us.
Michael and Janice Hull of Wardsboro, VT