I was born in the U.S. arid Southwest in the late 1940s and attended public elementary school where late spring and early fall temperatures were above 100 degrees.
The school did not have air conditioning. Each classroom had an evaporative cooler that blew almost cool, damp, sticky air around the room. There was no gymnasium. We had two outdoor basketball courts that were made of compacted earth and did not have painted lines. Before school games, the coach would stripe the courts with the same chalk machine he used to line the baseball field. Area streets were dirt, and there was an open irrigation ditch on one side of the playground, which was not fenced.
The school had however, an education curriculum that concentrated on preparing students for the adult world, not part time jobs funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. That school environment laid the foundation that helped me earn a Bachelor of Science degree and become an instrument rated pilot.
The facility and feel good activities are not what’s important. It’s the education. So when our public school system asks for levy money, then takes large chunks of it and puts new carpet in a teacher’s lounge, re-seals a school parking lot, and sends senior administrators to feel good seminars, I say NO. And I will vote NO on every school levy until they realize public school is not a daycare center, nor adult’s job program.
JAMES L. DEAN