All of Us Stand to Gain from Investing in Schools

Sometimes a community decides to pursue an enhancement such as a playscape or a skateboard park or an ice rink that can be paid for through donations. At other times, the scope of an improvement is so vital or so vast that every community member is asked to share in paying. In the two decades in which I have lived here, the residents of Farmington and / or Farmington Hills have supported investing in our public library, in redesigning downtown streets, in creating parks, in increasing public safety. And, we have supported investing in our public schools. 

Even if one never uses the library, or does not own a business on Grand River, or has no children in a public school, does one still stand to gain from these investments? In the past, a majority of our residents has said yes. We have believed that even if we are not directly impacted, we all benefit from investing in our community, something bigger and deeper and longer-lasting than all of us collectively. We have believed that a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown core, enhanced public safety and recreation, and a resource-rich public library increase our quality of life. Visitors - potential customers for our businesses - are drawn here, and some choose to join us in living here. When we invest in the community, we are investing in something bigger, but we are also certainly helping ourselves. 

Schools that provide safe environments conducive to learning in which students and staff make the best use of current (and future) technology to deepen and extend their learning can prepare our children for their adult world - a world that none of us can fully conceive of, right now.  Surely such schools would be the desire of any community, as they would enhance the quality of life throughout the community. In order to establish such schools, the Farmington Public Schools is now asking us to support a very large investment. The positive impact of this investment will be felt far beyond the 11,000 students enrolled today, and current staff members (of which I am one). Directly, we will certainly be serving the students who will enter Farmington schools for years to come, and some of them will choose to establish their own homes here, extending the benefit into the next generation. Indirectly, we all will gain, almost immediately. Not for free, to be sure, but we will see a significant, important return on our own contributions to this investment. 

Some are opposed to making this investment, for a variety of reasons. But the thing about a community is that we are all in this together, and if this investment is approved, they, too, will gain. I will be quite happy to share this improvement in the quality of our lives with our entire community. 

Jim White

Farmington resident and FPS teacher

Sue Burstein August 05, 2013 at 05:55 PM
It is so transparent when people who are on the district payroll write this stuff. The opposed are not opposed to it all. We are opposed to fads. That is what 100 million OF THIS. BOND IS. . FADS. nothing proven. The district puts out a quote from a group that says buildings are more educationally important than parents. With that kind of garbage being spewed. It's no wonder they are constantly laughed at. I will vote yes for $100 million. I will not vote for floor,to ceiling windows, swivel chairs and wasting my hard earned dollars. In 10 years when it fails to stop the decline in test scores and grad rates, and. A new fad is here, do we get a refund? It's a. Lousy deal for us all.
Barry August 06, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Sue, So you believe that the people on the FPS Payroll aren't smart enough to think for themselves and come to an informed decision?
FHVoice August 06, 2013 at 12:30 AM
No teacher is going to tell you that parental involvement, encouragement, and discipline is immaterial. And no one with children today will tell you that the one room schoolhouse approach to educational environment will work with the students of today and tomorrow. Farmington and Farmington Hills property values will benefit from this bond. Let's get it done.
melissa August 06, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Sue--I'm not on the payroll, but I do have 3 kids in 3 separate schools within the district. I don't love that there is a special election for this bond. I don't buy that the district didn't see the need for repairs/updates coming in 50 year old buildings. However, I can't let my frustration for what didn't happen in the past affect my decision to help my children now and in the future. Will flushing toilets and consistent heating and cooling improve test grades? No, probably not, but I want that for my kids while they're at school anyway. Call me over-protective. Be angry. Express your frustration at the administration. Do what you have to do get to your happy place with the district. In the meantime, don't punish my kids with your anger. They didn't cause this mess.
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Melissa, please go and read my many posts where I said I would vote for a bond issue to accomplish what you quote here. I have no problem with that. I have ALWAYS voted for millages and bonds. But this is pie in the sky, floor to ceiling windows, fads, swivel chairs and about $110 -$130 million of what is not necessary. My kids ALL went through FPS at times where we didn't have artificial turf, locker rooms were horrible, buildings were not perfect and certainly no swivel chairs or floor to ceiling windows. When they came and asked for money to fix up we gave it to them - I voted YES. I hardly think I am saying NO to any upgrades. But, what we are creating here is a district slush fund which I cannot and will not support.
Barry August 06, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Sue- Are you going to answer my question?
melissa August 06, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Sue--I have read many of your posts. It's obvious you believe wholeheartedly in your stance on the bond and trying to change that is futile. Much of what you argue, though, is laced with venom and therefore I choose to speak out. I'm sorry your kids had such horrible conditions during their time in FPS. Since you allude to the past, you can imagine the passage of time has led to further wear and tear on the buildings. According to my parents, they walked uphill both to and from school, yet they still supported busing for their children. My point is that we can't just stop repairs or upgrades because once-upon-time it was good enough for ourselves or our older children. This money is not a slush fund, as you stated, but rather a way to pay for facilities repairs and upgrades without taking it from the educational part of the budget.
FHVoice August 06, 2013 at 04:30 PM
As the economy continues to recover, improvements resulting from this bond issue will make our system now attractive to people shipping for a community that is not only safe but puts a priority on education. Let's get beyond the petty games of folk who hide behind illegal mailers and fear mongering robo calls and hysterical ranting. Let's pass this bond issue.
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 04:43 PM
FH - just wonder who neutered you. That can be the only reason that you do not use your real name. Anyone who still has any cajones or guts or ethics is willing to speak as themselves and not hide behind the mask of an alias. So easy to cast aspersions when no one knows who you are. I give great credit to those who use their real names when posting whether or not we agree . Honesty, clearly, is not one of your virtues. PS...You are correct, I am immensly proud to be a Jewish Republican and more. I even belong to the RJC, am a precinct delegate for the GOP, and am most importantly a proud American. Your excuse for existence??
FHVoice August 06, 2013 at 05:00 PM
My "excuse"? Didn't know a citizen had to have one. Oh, wait, you don't. Do you even know what "aspersions" means? Verbal exhibition of bad temper. My next question would be to ask if you understood the word "irony", but that would just be mean. I urge folks to vote for the bond issue because it is a good direction for the community.
Barry August 06, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Sue- I don't think you should be throwing stones at anyone. We can choose to voice our opinion in any way we see fit. The fact that this person wishes to use a pseudonym does not make his or her words any less or more true. You do understand that, right?
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 05:29 PM
No Barry, I don't. If I post as simply Mom you wouldn't be able,to disparage me, personally, because you don't know who I am. You couldn't drag my religion, politics, family or husband into this. You couldn't disparage my associates as you would have no idea who I am. But, since I post as myself, and do so proudly, all of that is fair game for the cowards. FH wouldn't be able to research Linked in. I have no idea who you are so not exactly a level playing field. So actually, it makes your words far more meaningless. Frankly, believe it shows lack of any real character. I applaud Jim Sparks, and others that post as who they are. Honesty. Not a world that appears to be part f the lexicon of you and other first makers or aliases. Seems the word alias was often used to describe what criminals would do. Assume an alias. just wondering Barry, what you so afraid of?
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Namers not makers.
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 05:35 PM
BTW, I do believe you can voice your opinion as you wish. That is your first amendment right. I will fight for you to do that whether I agree with you or not. It is amazing however as to How many people on this site do not believe they should afford me or others with my viewpoint the same right. However, I do not believe that you should be able to post anonymously and debase us. Come on out of the closet Barry, and breathe some fresh air. It'll do you good. Perhaps it is time for the Patch to follow suit with other reputable news outlets which require you post via a facebook account. It forces people like you, to come clean or stay away.
Barry August 06, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Sue- So, words are not true if you don't know who is saying them? Wow, that's a new one on me. Have I ever said that you shouldn't be allowed to voice your opinion? I don't think so. The more you post, the more your true feelings come out and the more people are able to label you. My strategy has been to let you verbally assassinate yourself. You know, like I did yesterday. Amazing how you kind of shut up and didn't respond to my post about the true history of AMERICA! But, it's all good. We need people like you around. Occasionally you make a good point, like "free speech" and "questioning authority", but mostly it is a sharp reminder for the rest of us that we need to be vigilant in our beliefs and not be shouted down.
Joni Hubred-Golden (Editor) August 06, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Everyone, Patch encourages a lively dialogue, but please refrain from personal attacks and stick to a discussion of the issues. Please remember our three main principles: “Keep it clean,” “Don’t try to trick people,” and “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” (Especially that last one.)
Sue Burstein August 06, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Barry, you sound like a true politician twisting my words. Go ahead. Again though you have the right to post anonymously, it means what you have to say carries very little credibility. Again, c'mon out of the closet Barry. Let us all know who you really are. My guess...we would all recognize your name and it would not be too positive for your political career, which is probably a pretty sorry state of affairs. If I am wrong...prove it. Tell us who you are or are too to full of cowardice to do so? Just askin, Barry.
Barry August 06, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Sue- See, here is one big difference between you and me. In another article, you might remember that I complimented you on your post. Based on your post, I gave you a measure of credibility. Following that you attacked me and, bye-bye, you lost every bit of credibility you earned. See, with me, you have to earn credibility. I don't give someone credibility just because I know their name. Historically, that has never been a good idea. (By the way, I am not sure if you know this, but I could have made my name David Eisenhower. That doesn't mean that I am actually David Eisenhower.) That being said, one of my life-long goals has been to earn your credibility, so......here goes...my real name is.......Art Linkletter.


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