A new-found friend of mine posted this on social media today. To often when we talk about school referendums here in Delaware, the conversation divorces funding from the people whom the funding ultimately supports. It becomes a “thing”, and a personal one. Money. We tend not to fully translate the effects of funding cuts to the impact it has on people in our schools. People who live and breathe Colonial School District and the work it does lost their jobs. THOSE are the kind of people our schools need. For everyone who says “Schools are a mess” and votes against referendums, you do nothing to make things better. You only remove the supports our schools sorely need. You make what you see to be “a mess” worse.
So this friend of mine, who is out there spreading Colonial’s message on behalf of those who will no longer have jobs in the District as of July 1, made it personal. Translation complete. When you let good people go, it’s difficult if not impossible to get them back.
June 6, 2017 from 10am-8pm is Colonial’s Referendum. If you live in the district, or know people who do, please encourage them to cast their vote FOR the Referendum. In doing so, they’re casting a vote FOR the District and the 10,000 students it supports.
At the end of the day, the Colonial Referendum isn’t about business. It isn’t about money. It’s about people; children from ages 3 years old to ages 21 years old, their families, the adults who pour their lives into those children, and the community. Together we all either lose, or we gain.
Let me tell you about two adults who lost their jobs yesterday. First, someone I’ve been proud to call friend since we both graduated from William Penn in 1996. (They say, “once a Colonial, always a Colonial”, it’s so true!) This guy left a great career to come to Colonial. The district hasn’t been the same since he came on the scene! He’s responsible for spreading the good news of the district to everyone who will listen, and so so much more! This guy is wearing multiple hats! He’s up early, in classrooms, most times bouncing from school to school in our big district covering events and activities, supporting teachers. He’s in meetings to educate and inform about the impact this amazing district has on kids and the community. If there is an event after school, at night, he’s there. Not home with him family. He’s there, in the community, with the staff and students. He works long hours on making this district a better place. And he truly loves his job! Because of a failed referendum, this week, he lost.
Let me tell you about a teacher who I became close to this year. When I tell you this teacher is a rock star, it’s an understatement! When she texted me and said “I got the letter. I’m done as of June 30th” my heart sank. This teacher thinks outside of the universe (forget about “outside of the box”, she’s smashed that box!) She doesn’t even have desks in her classroom. Her classroom is like a home. Kids sit and work how they are most comfortable! She teaches with such a zealous for her art! You should see her students! It’s invigorating to step foot in her classroom! These kids smile because they LOVE being her student! They feel loved by their teacher and she inspired them to try harder, do better, and to give back. I could go on and on with concrete examples. Because of a failed referendum, yesterday she lost. Let me tell you about someone who has so much more to lose if we don’t make this right…
I could tell you about them all. But if you’re still reading (thank you), I’ll just choose one. This kid has a piece of my heart. He’s a struggling reader from one of my reading groups. We bonded in an incredible way. And I miss him all the time. This kid is incredible. And funny. He wants to do better each day. Watching her teach this little guy blows me away. It reminds me why teaching is a part of your DNA. This kid would climb a mountain for his teacher. Now I imagine this student without her. In a class of 40 students. There will be less individualized attention for this student, something he craves and needs. This kid is a “big fish in a small pond” kind of kid. I cannot imagine what he’ll face as a “little fish in a giant ocean”.
We cannot, in good conscious, as a community, let these kids down! We live in the district. I went to Carrie Downie, McCullough, Gunning Bedford, and William Penn. My husband went to Pleasantville, McCullough, Gunning Bedford, and William Penn. If you live here, or went to Colonial schools, speak out, speak up. Share to get the word out if you’re uncomfortable or unsure on what to say.
A vote FOR the referendum on June 6th is a vote FOR KIDS!