Voting against school millage for first time

With a sad heart, I write that, for the first time in my life, I will be voting against a school mileage.

Growing lists of concerns reveal our school leadership has failed its stated mission of “partnering with the community” and encouraging lifelong learning. Here are some examples:

Short-changing student education for convenience. Children may love a snow day, but the community contracts education/instruction days that APS fails to meet. This year, that should extend instruction through much of June. This alone suggests our leadership lacks an understanding of a commitment to learning.

Intolerance of religious views. Michigan allows each school system to decide whether private (Christian) school and homeschool children may participate in school sports and social activities. When I looked into this, I was told that APS considers it a “competitive advantage” to exclude private students from sports. Shamefully, APS punishes families of faith by denying their children access to the very educational activities funded by those families’ taxes. Justice demands either a return of designated property tax money to those parents or changing APS’ cutthroat philosophy.

Failure to exercise critical thinking. A recent specific example is wasting money removing asbestos recently found. Asbestos is harmless if undisturbed and untouched. The danger is in the installation, manipulation, and removal. Paying money to add danger to clean-up teams and building personnel is unnecessary, wasteful and poorly-conceived.

Failure to act upon sociology and science data. As with the first example, APS uses convenience over fact. Upon reaching puberty, children learn best after mid-morning. Elementary school should start no earlier than 9 a.m. and teenagers no earlier than 10 a.m. ( some data suggests 11 a.m.). Were I not limited to 300 words, this topic alone is worthy of an essay.

ALLAN P. FRANK,

Alpena