The cost of education is the price we pay for civilization, freedom and democracy. The cost of renovating the New Paltz Middle School is part of the price for this liberty.
Our school building constructed in 1930 was paid for during the Great Depression. These were times so hard those of us under 70 can't even imagine how people could live through ten years of that kind of privation. That costly sacrifice proved invaluable because WW II would change the world dramatically. By its conclusion in 1945, the era of the one-room schoolhouse had to end. The school district had gotten a jump-start and building new schools every few decades kept up with the changes in population, culture and teaching methods. Duzine came online in the '60s, followed by the high school and then Lenape in the '90s. Education is a living entity. In New Paltz and Gardiner it was being nourished improved, and kept up-to-date. The middle school renovation will continue that evolution.
We must thank previous generations who built our schools, educated our teachers and maintained and improved the education system that allowed us to thrive. The few hundred dollars we are asked to pony up each year for the renovation project is a small price we'll pay to preserve our liberty.
In fact, the renovation project also constitutes an effective regional economic stimulus. Most of the $30M local taxpayers will contribute and the $20M of state aid (that is in a dedicated fund that cannot be rescinded) will likely be spent locally and regionally for jobs and materials. This will help calm the after-shocks of the recession, which has technically ended, but is still felt by the unemployed and under-water mortgage holders.
Voting YES on Feb. 9 has a great many up-sides. Regardless of the negative message on the flyer I found illegally taped to the side of my mailbox by the so-called UniteOurDistrict.com, there are no good reasons to vote NO on Feb. 9. Their "TOP 10 REASONS WHY IT'S OK TO VOTE NO" is filled with distortions, creative accounting and untruths.
There is every good reason to vote YES. Let's support the public servants on the Board of Education who have given up countless hours of their free time to forge a plan that will continue providing the best education for the children of New Paltz and Gardiner.