Reprinted from Chumps on Parade (March 1998)
The biggest news of the past month was the failure of the school bond issue. It was voted down by around 16,000 votes to 10,000 votes. While it isn’t that much of a surprise, students should still be mad that it failed to pass.
A person has to be stupid in order to say that our schools didn’t need the 396 million dollars the bond would have given us. Take a look at the schools around Grand Rapids. Forrest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Caledonia, and many others are at least twice as nice as the Grand Rapids district. Many of our schools are falling apart, due to the lack of new books and equipment, or at some schools, literally falling apart. People who can afford it run to the suburbs once their kids are old enough to go to school. Where does it leave the children of parents who can’t afford to move? Screwed. They are forced to go to schools that are inferior.
Why did the bond issue get voted down? The main reason is the fact that the majority of people who voted were elderly. They figure at that their children have already graduated and that they don’t want to have to more taxes. Mary Milanowski and her “group” of people opposed to the bond issue also played an important role in getting the issue defeated. She got people to vote “no” because she was on the school board in the past. When she said that the schools didn’t need the money, people believed her. Never mind the fact that when she was on the school board she voted no on almost everything, what a help she was. I wonder if she is ignorant or just plain dumb? I’m guessing it is the latter.
Another popular argument was “we should have never let the schools deteriorate into this state.” Well, I don’t think anyone besides YOU, the people who consistently voted no, had anything to do with that. There have been many millages in the past that you must have voted no on. So blame it on yourself, it’s your fault. None of the people working for the GRPS, on the school board (except Mary Milanowski), or the students wanted the schools to fall apart. As for those old people that voted no. If you took the time to go INTO a school you would notice that they basically the same as when your children graduated, or in some cases, when YOU graduated. Nobody can say there isn’t something wrong with that situation.
If people in the 18-25 age group actually voted, it would probably have made a big difference. Those people would know that the schools need help, and would probably have voted “yes”. So next time, get out and vote. Also, not enough adults who have children in school voted. Whether it was due to laziness or some other reason, they really screwed their children by not taking the minute required to vote. Thanks so much.