Today’s special post is written by Pam Kingery, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo.
It has been many months since I last contributed to our CIS blog. Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids consistently brings you relevant and interesting information each and every week. Jennifer’s steady and competent voice allows me the luxury of “dropping in” with a post when something inspires me to share my voice. This is one of those times.
Tomorrow—Tuesday, May 5th—is a very important day in our County, a day when each of us as registered voters, can exercise a firm, clear YES! on behalf of our children. In addition to the state roads referendum, there is a local KRESA special education millage. Special education services in our county have been underfunded for a number of years. To meet federal and state law, local districts have had to redirect dollars from their operating budgets to cover the unfunded special education costs. It is critical that students with disabilities as well as general education students have their educational needs met to fulfill their potential. School districts across the county are funding approximately $11 million in special education costs from their general operating budgets, requiring cuts to general education services. Through the passage of the KRESA millage, special education needs can be fully funded and critically needed academic supports for general education students can be restored.
Our children need our full support, including an affirmative vote on the KRESA millage. When we see each child as part of our responsibility and part of ouropportunity to make Kalamazoo a stronger community, we can lift up a whole generation.
Tuesday, May 5th we can go to the polls and exercise our civic duty, by fully considering the benefits of the KRESA special education millage. Decide whether it makes sense to you to provide local dollars for local schools and local kids. Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo regularly asks you to volunteer, to advocate and to donate resources to provide learning readiness strategies and to enhance learning support to the neediest of students. We sincerely appreciate your significant contributions and hope you will continue to invest in our efforts. For CIS to be fully effective in removing the barriers that keep students from succeeding, it is also essential that our schools and teachers have what they need—the core capacity to engage our kids in active learning. Please vote tomorrow.
And thanks for “listening.”