Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Today is the Day

Today is one that can go in the City of Paris' history books. Today our community is given the opportunity to better the lives and education of young community. Today we have the ability to Vote YES.

A little less than a year ago, we found out that our name was up on a building fund list for the State of Illinois. We were up for a new school. The State of Illinois has money (and yes they actually have it!), money that makes up 66% of building costs toward a new high school. We, the community of Paris are voting today on a referendum to fund the other portion. A portion that will build a children a school where education and technology will bridge together and spring our students into the educational world of today and tomorrow.

Talking to a fellow co-worker this morning, I was telling him that my tummy was full of butterflies today. He said you know, 102 years ago, our community put aside fears and the thought of taxes and did something for the good of our young people and our community. 102 years ago they built a new school. I only hope that our community can see it that way today. Wow. Well said!

I was one of those people who questioned this new school at the beginning. I honestly thought, no way! No way did I want my taxes to increase, in already ridiculous State of Illinois- County of Edgar tax world. My answer for the first few months was HECK NO! And then I did something. I educated myself on the pros and cons. On the finances, and the interests. I looked at how it would affect me as someone who worked in the school, as a taxpayer in the district, and as a parent.

I can tell you the very moment that my opinion changed. I came to see my daughter who attends the middle school perform in a school play that was held at PCHS. As my parents and I walked into sit down in the auditorium, i turned and looked around. I have been in that room over a hundred times in my job at PCHS, but for the second time in my life, i was there as a parent. I watched people avoid, and then finally forced to sit in seats which the backs were broken off of, that there were no longer desks attached to, but the brackets still sticking out of, looking at carpet that was heavily stained and worn through in many spots. And then I realized it. Wow. We need help. We have the ability sitting before us to build something new, or later down the line, we will have to shell out the money into a 102 year old building to get it back up to standards and code. Which will cost more? Anyone that has restored and older home or car knows, there are points in time when you are investing more than it cost to buy new.

People are questioning the idea of what a new building will do to improve test scores and education on a whole. Education is taking off in leaps and bounds. Right now technology and group approach is where education is going. Innovative and creative. Exciting. Technological. We try our best here at PCHS, but you can only do so much with what you are given. People look back and say you only have 600 kids in that building at one time there were over a 1000. They could handle it, why can't you?It isn't about the numbers of students, it is about the quality of education we can offer. This school was not built a 100 years ago to house and run, computers, smart boards, wi-fi, laptops, computers, and machinery that we use know as everyday items in our educational process. The simple fact is, if PCHS wants to educate in today's world, we need the facilities to do so.

I hope that people open their eyes and see that this once in a lifetime chance brings to us. We have the ability to give back to our community. If the citizens of Paris could see it 102 years ago, I hope with all my heart the citizens today can as well. What could be better than that!

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