May 15 matters: Get the facts out

It’s less than one week before most school districts submit their annual budgets to voters.

On six pages, the Monroe County Education Coalition explains why quality education is an investment worth making. You can link to that presentation here.

That presentation also answers the question: If you have the time and energy to do one more thing about your local school budget, what can you do? Think Dragnet here and just put out the facts. Who hasn’t wanted to be Sgt. Joe Friday or Officer Bill Gannon? Here’s your chance. Assemble the facts; in this case it’s your local success stories. Then make sure people know them.

My local school district, the South Colonie schools, posts accomplishments on its website frequently. The link above will tell you that South Colonie’s annual graduation rate is around 90 percent with more than half the students earning Advanced Regents Diplomas which require additional credits in Mathematics and Science. It also lists some of the finest universities in the nation that accept South Colonie students, such as: Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Baylor, Hamilton, Colgate, Fordham, Boston College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Villanova, Tulane, Temple, RPI, Union, Clarkson, Hobart and William & Smith, Syracuse, Lehigh/Drexel Medical, Siena/Albany Medical, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneseo, University at Buffalo, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College.

Hey, I LOVE that so many state schools are on that list of the finest in the nation. I also want to give kudos to schools Superintendent Jonathan Buhner, who went on record May 1 when headlines focused on Governor Cuomo criticizing public education and government for “failing to do what it should.” Buhner said, “It’s important for people to know the facts about South Colonie.

“Our community should be proud of the fact that we really have worked together to give our children a fantastic start in life. Thanks should go out to the parents, community members and staff members who have made these outcomes possible. The public should feel good knowing that the schools in Colonie are excelling, producing outstanding results and giving our students the opportunities we would all hope for. I thank our community for investing in our future.”

One way to invest in our future is to vote on school budgets. Make the time. May 15 is only one week away.

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