The Garden City Telegram
3/29/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

School votes

Incumbents deserve support in GCCC, USD 457 contests.

The educational landscape continues to change at every level.

On Tuesday, local voters will have the opportunity to decide who takes seats on boards for Garden City Public Schools and Garden City Community College.

For those who win, future funding looms as a troubling uncertainty. Knowing lawmakers could exact a costly toll on education, everyone has to be prepared for tough decision-making.

It's a particularly pressing issue in a school district like Garden City USD 457, with the unique challenge of a significant number of at-risk students.

When it comes to the race for three USD 457 Board of Education seats, incumbents Lara Bors, Jean Clifford and Gloria Hopkins deserve an opportunity to continue their work. They understand the proper balance between responsible spending and a need to provide adequate resources for educators and students.

The incumbents also have a good grasp of Common Core Standards and support the newer initiative, one more relevant than the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, an unwelcome one-size-fits-all strategy that only targets learning in a few areas.

Over at Garden City Community College, funding also is key at an institution charged with crafting ways to meet the changing needs of students of all ages — from high school graduates on the traditional path to higher education, to those seeking technical training, adult enrichment and other continuing education programs.

Moving forward at GCCC, sharing a clear vision for expansion would be one challenge for the board of trustees. The community college has acquired property, and local taxpayers want to know what's ahead for a school that must continue to evolve in meeting changing needs in the community.

Voters will be asked to select three trustees, and incumbents William Clifford, Merilyn Douglass and Ron Schwartz deserve the nod.

They embrace the importance of GCCC's role in local workforce development needed to encourage economic prosperity. Their experience and knowledge of the workings of GCCC also promise to be beneficial at a college poised for growth.

In the end, it's up to voters. Please take time to cast your ballot and be part of the process Tuesday.