Published DateTo the editor,
The Alton Teachers' Association is a part of the community that values public schools and learning, despite the many obstacles to successful education. Some of these obstacles include a gridlocked political arena, perpetually constrained time, and the obvious challenges of the global economy.
Another important constellation of challenges are the profoundly needed improvements addressed by the nascent Alton Central School renovation project. The Alton Central School Buildings and Grounds Committee has worked tirelessly, for years now, seeking a fair and equitable solution to the aging infrastructure which is the Alton Central School campus. The Alton School Board has been unremitting in its attempts to begin these upgrades, which unquestionably are going to have to be initiated sooner (meaning now, when it's cheaper) or later (when it's more expensive).
Alton needs to come together and support the renovation so we don't, for instance, have to send the students home again for fear of the roof collapsing due to some snow as we did a few years back. It is also disruptive (at best) to have to move classes around the building when sewage-type scents are released into the already-overcrowded building's atmosphere. These are but a few examples of the unpleasant — and possibly dangerous — events over the last seven years directly related to the aging physical plant that we send our children to, year after year.
Time and again, a majority of the voting citizenry has delayed fixing this problem, preferring band-aids to real medicine. And in spite of it, the educators of SAU 72 have continued to work with professionalism and integrity. We ask voters to support the proposed renovations (Article II), the amended school budget (Article V), and the long-delayed PMHS Master Agreement (Article VII). The Alton Teachers' Association encourages all voters to participate on March 12, 2013. We appreciate the long hours spent by the Buildings and Grounds Committees over the last several years, citizens whose civic values trump local politics. We ask for the community's support so we may surmount together the many obstacles to successful education.
Richard Brown, President
Alton Teachers' Association