I sit in budget hearings and board meetings and hear people say things to the affect that schools don’t need “that” – sports, clubs, music programs, theatre productions, academic competition teams. Schools just need to educate our children, need to teach them math, reading, writing. This is not the case anymore. Anyone who has had a teenager fill out a college application recently will know that academics is not all the colleges are looking at when making admission decisions.
While academics are important on college applications, so are test scores. If a school offers some preparation for those dreaded SATs or ACTs, it is a good plus. This is not a mandated NY state program but regular class learning and testing does not prepare a student for these tests.
While academics are important, so are “special” courses. Colleges want to see students who have taken courses in art, in music. Colleges want to see students who have excelled in advance placement courses and in local honors courses. Colleges want to see students who have excelled in language classes and taken more than the required year or even more than three years.
While academics are important, so are extra-curricular activities. Colleges want to see students who have held a part-time job. Colleges want to see students who have done volunteer work. Colleges want to see students who have been student-athletes. Colleges want to see students who have been student musicians. Colleges want to see students who have participated in student government. Colleges want to see students who have exhibited leadership, whether in government, sports, music, theatre or class.
Currently, at Maine-Endwell Central Schools, you have all these pieces so a student can put together a complete college application package. If Tuesday’s modified budget does not pass, the students who are coming upon college application time may not have all of this. The 92% of students who graduate from Maine-Endwell and go to college may not continue to be 92%. Students may not be able to apply and be accepted to Bucknell, Cornell, RIT, WPI, Penn State – to name a few schools where students will head in September – if the whole picture is not there.
A common complaint at budget hearings and board meetings is that if taxes keep going up, people will not want to move into this area and into the Maine-Endwell district specifically. If the graduates of Maine-Endwell cannot get into top colleges, they are not going to want to try to move back into an area that let them down. They are not necessarily going to be qualified for careers at the few major employers still left in this area – Lockheed Martin, BAE, IBM, Endicott Interconnect.
Vote yes on Tuesday, June 20th for the future of those students still in the Maine-Endwell district. Vote yes on Tuesday, June 20th for those people who will want to move into an area that has excellent schools. Vote yes on Tuesday, June 20th for the Maine-Endwell modified budget.