I’m voting YES this time for the Bloomfield Hills Schools bond issue on TUESDAY, MAY 8. This is the right proposal, at the right time. I voted against the two-high-school proposal (2007) because the numbers did add up – neither the enrollment numbers nor the projections. Though the board was well intended, the proposal would have been a mistake; good boards are human, they make mistakes. Having been a trustee of the school district for 10 years (1993-2003), I can safely say that we made some mistakes. All boards do.
For the record, I am also the proud parent of two graduates (classes of 2001, 2004), and a former teacher at Andover High School (2003-2006). I’m now a member of the 80% of citizens who no longer have school-age children. Like many others who have spoken and written, I am grateful for the educational experiences my children enjoyed. Some of the readers of this publication helped fund these school buildings for my kids; now it is my turn to help ensure the continuance of this esteemed tradition.
I do want to make one point, based on my involvement in the school district since 1988. The prospect of one community high school has been part of the district conversation for just about the whole time I have been involved; there have been formal and informal committees for more than 20 years. The reasons were varied, but prudent financial stewardship of the district was the focus after the implementation of Proposal A (1994). We knew that the state had limited our ability to self-fund the education we desired for our kids, and that the sales tax was regressive. Our projections told us then that we would need to re-think having two comprehensive high schools in order to preserve our excellent programs and provide learning choices for kids. In fact the idea of “choices” – the benefits of which are borne out consistently in research on learning – is one of our community’s stated core values.
Mistakes have been made, no doubt. But guess what? Mistakes are how we learn. There is no question that our Superintendent, Rob Glass, has learned a great deal during his short time here, and with input from his administration and staff, our school board, students, and this community, has now crafted the right plan. Please join me at the polls on Tuesday, May 8, as together we choose to support what has always been the hallmark of this community – an exemplary education for our kids, now and into the future.