CDTC Communication Committee staff
The hustle and bustle of the campaign is quickly coming to an end; the door knocking, the phone calling, the letters to the editor, and the signs on our neighbors’ lawns will soon disappear. The candidates have worked hard, hoping for a positive end to their long hours. But, as we complete our ballots on election day, the future of our State and the nation are clearly at stake. Many key issues divide our candidates, but the education of our children is, in my opinion, of prime importance.
You see, I have spent my life as a teacher and a school principal. I have witnessed countless young and excited students enter our schools ready to learn. And, when we were most successful, I have seen these students graduate, ready to take on the vital roles of productive citizens. Education is an investment for all of us that will pay off well beyond the cost of a child’s education.
First of all, our schools must be equipped to prepare students for 21st century jobs. Connecticut is uniquely situated in a high tech metropolitan corridor. The jobs that will be created in the coming years will require workers who are competent users of technology, who can think critically and creatively, who can communicate well and who can collaborate effectively with others. Our economic growth is vitally linked to our assurance that EVERY child will leave our schools ready to successfully become a part of our high tech economy.
Secondly, a successful democracy requires a citizenry that is well-educated and thoughtful. More than at any time in my life, it is essential that our students be actively involved in the decisions that affect us all. They need to have a deep understanding of our constitution, our history, and our current issues. They need to feel empowered to step up and become involved in the process of electing our representatives in Cheshire, in Hartford, and in Washington.
With this in mind I will step into the voting booth this Tuesday and vote Democratic. I have had the opportunity to speak at length with most of the Democratic candidates running for U.S. and State office, and I know they understand the importance of assuring an effective education for every student in the State.
They know this is an investment that will benefit each one of us, as we work to grow and improve our State. They understand that there are financial pressures and restrictions and will insist that our tax dollars are used in the most efficient manner possible, putting those dollars to work where they will have the greatest effect on our students. They understand that massive reductions in our schools may have a short-term effect in ameliorating our deficit, but will, in the long term, assure a downward spiral, if corporations and entrepreneurs feel that they must look elsewhere to find the 21st century workforce that is essential to compete in today’s global economy.