Edited to add the disclaimer at the end of this post.
I know I said I wouldn't post until after Labor Day weekend...but I have a rant to get off my chest....
So here's my issue...
The Detroit Zoo is in a crisis. The Detroit Zoo threatened to close it's doors on the public if funding help was not found. There was a millage vote and the millage vote passed by a 3 to 1 margin. That's a huge margin ya'll. With this millage the average person (average = $200,000 house) will pay an extra $10.00 per year. Chump change. That extra $10/year/homeowner will generate approximately 13 million dollars for the Zoo. That's huge. A tiny contribution from everyone is helping to save the Detroit Zoo. That's fantastic. We visit the zoo every year. I've had family zoo passes for 3 years in a row. The Zoo has been saved .....Yeay!
Our Michigan schools are in a crisis. Programs are being shut down. Begindergarten (a pre kindergarten program for late fall birthdays or those kids who are not developmentally ready for kindergarten) has been stopped....and is no longer available. This makes me sad. We chose this route for my oldest because he is a late fall birthday and would have started kindergarten when he was 4 if we hadn't. We didn't feel he was ready and it turned out to be the best thing that we could have done for him.
My son had 35 kids in his 5th grade class last year and his teacher had no aide.
My almost 6 year old daughter will be starting kindergarten with MANY 4 year olds who can barely hold a pencil let alone write their name, identify their letters, or follow directions. We live in a VERY ethnic neighborhood where English is a second language to many of these kids. Out of 10 kids in my daughter's pre-school last year...5 of them were late fall birthdays, 5 of them spoke English as a second language, 5 of them couldn't hold a pencil, and 3 of them could not follow directions well. With begindergarten no longer being an option for these kids these are the kids that my daughter will be going to kindergarten with in a school that thinks 35 kids to a classroom (with no help) is acceptable.
Language classes are no longer being offered.
Music classes, sports programs, and the busing system are all in jeopardy.
And yet votes for millage increases for the schools are constantly being turned down.
Where are our priorities people!
Edited to add: It was brought to my attention that apparently I was talking out my ass on the millage votes for schools comment. Shows you how edumacated I am on school funding. Apparently Proposal A changed things here in Michigan years ago. Proposal A was a result of Govenor Engler's effort to reduce property taxes and help improve school funding inequities among local school districts. Our schools are no longer funded by property taxes but are now funded by State Taxes. So the state now provides schools with a per pupil allowance. Which eliminates the ability for school funding millage votes.