I am writing because I have been considering the $225 million Battle Ground school levy.
As a person who is being ask to fund this plan, I have reached the conclusion that the school board is either uninformed or irresponsible. They are planning for an increase in enrollment when it’s becoming increasingly apparent that public school enrollment is facing competition that will cause an already declining enrollment to continue. Parents can now choose from several different options to meet their state obligation to provide their children with an education.
Parents may choose homeschooling where they decide what their children will learn in their home under their supervision. They may choose from many varied curriculum that reflects the parent’s attitudes and values.
Or they can enroll their child in an online school, either public or private, that provides an education at home with their supervision. For example, both the University of Nebraska and Stanford University, among others, operate online high schools. There are many online or brick and mortar public and private schools for parents to select from.
It’s irresponsible and short-sighted for public schools to ignore the growing enrollment statistics for home, online public and private schools, assuming their decade’s long monopoly on education will continue forever. School districts needs to change with the times instead of continuing to repeat an outdated model of education designed to fill the needs of the Industrial Revolution. Just as workers increasingly work at home, children are also being educated there.
So I cannot see the need to continue building more buildings. Our school board should come up with a plan to provide students a variety of ways to learn in appropriate settings. Each child is an individual and deserves an individualized education that meets their needs.
Education is not about how many or how big a building you can put up to warehouse children, then ignore until it falls down; it’s about mentoring each unique child so they can be productive members of society. And parents increasingly have that choice while it seems our school board is running around Henny Penny style shouting, “We need more buildings.”