It would seem, therefore that we would want to equip our youngsters with the best tools possible to help insure that their futures are fruitful.
No doubt the surest way that society can achieve such a goal is through public education, but usually obtaining the best results requires money-lots of it.
All eight Sullivan County school districts will hold referendums on May 21, and each will seek voter approval of increased spending, while some will also provide slates of school board candidates.
As can be expected, many voters are wary of upped school budgets, mainly because they will probably result in higher taxes.
Others will vote “no” because they have no children in their respective school districts, reasoning that these children have no positive direct stake in the outcome of the vote. Why, therefore should they be forced to kick-in more for school taxes?
There are lots of both emotionally-charged as well as logical excuses to vote against school budgets.
But are the naysayers correct when they say that better education opportunities for children does not translate into better lives for all? The answer is simple: No!
Several years ago I was treated for colon cancer at the Catskill Regional Medical Center. After the operation I underwent chemotherapy as a precaution against the possible recurrence of the disease.
Over the months-long rounds of treatments I got to know some of the oncology nurses, some who received their educational degrees in Sullivan County.
One of those life-long resident nurses resided within a few miles of my home. Her local education ultimately led to advanced training in the medical field. That training eventually proved its value for me.
I’m certified cancer-free and my continued survival may be the direct result of the taxes I may have paid to educate the nurse when she was a local elementary and high school student!
Of course those same paid taxes may have been instrumental in saving or improving the life or lives of other Sullivan County residents, many of whom I never met. Under such circumstances it makes me feel warm and secure in knowing that even in an indirect way, others may have benefited much in the same way that I did! I’m certain that there are many others who can relate to the way that their school taxes either directly or indirectly helped to improve the lives of others.
Ultimately voting for school budgets is not about how we as individuals will benefit. It’s about whether we as a society will advance when someone else’s child receives a good education.
So the answer to the question of whether to vote for the school budgets on Tuesday is simply, yes!