Potsdam schools need help from community
Monday, April 22, 2013 - 11:24 am

To the Editor:

First of all, I want to thank the Potsdam Board of Education for restoring the full time Reading Specialist position. One of our sons, despite all of our efforts, was not able to read at grade level in second grade, and would not be the kid he is today without the help of a reading specialist.

I now urge you to restore the half-time music teacher that was cut this year. We will no longer have a full time band or choral teacher at the High School because of this cut.

I truly believe we are crippling our music program with the additional cut this year. Our teachers have been barely able to cover the positions we have already cut. This is just too far.

And that’s what I want to say to the Potsdam Community. All of the cuts at our school this year are indicative of a bigger issue that needs to be addressed now. We can’t wait for another year of cuts. We need to be proactive in finding a way to fund our schools so our kids get the education they deserve. There are bigger issues, such as our schools’ demise making it difficult to attract professionals and businesses to this area, and people leaving the area to find better schools, but the most important thing I can say is, our kids deserve better.

We need to act now, and figure out a solution to our financial abandonment by Albany. Our kids deserve to have a High School musical and third grade play, and they deserve to have hockey teams. They deserve art, and English, history, technology, librarians, home economics, business, science, mathematics, and secretaries and a receptionist in our front offices.

Let’s look outside the box and find a solution. If someone knows that Albany is planning on giving us enough money next year to reinstate the positions that have been cut, then by all means, let us know. For now, though, we have to stop trying to wish this issue away.

We need to find creative ways to reduce energy costs, procure donations from alumni, grants, and the 1 percent, and provide money to our schools through local initiatives. What can you do to help? Please contact me, or the Board of Education, if you have an idea or service you can offer. The time is now to find a solution.

Elizabeth Bollt, Potsdam