School is about students; use grant dollars for them

After life safety, Clarion says reduce the class size

Courtesy of RBTV

Clarion Staff, Staff Editorial

Since RBHS failed its operating fund referendum in Spring of 2010, the school has been tight on money and students have seen changes – rising lunch prices, larger class sizes, pay-to-play for clubs and sports, and so on.  Recently, RB found out it would receive $9 million in grant money.  Needless to say, this has lifted the spirits of teachers and students alike in anticipation of some of the things the school board can now spend the money on, hopefully to improve life here in the building.

We believe that student life is a priority.  Class sizes have been increased due to the board’s inability to hire more teachers, causing problems within classrooms.  Lunch prices are up and many kids may not feel like they can afford to buy their lunches on a regular basis.  Clubs have been eliminated – art, photography, fishing, ski/snowboarding, Facets, and more.  For the clubs that do remain, pay-to-play prices are in effect.  Speech Club costs a hundred dollars to join.  Football costs two hundred dollars to join.  Grant dollars can change this.

We do believe that grant dollars should go towards needed building fixes as well.  The football stadium outside the school is showing its age and the infrastructure of the bleachers is falling apart.  The board should spend some of its money to fix it and to complete other life safety repairs. Tax-payers (our parents and neighbors) paid to renovate the building in 2006.  Subsequently, they rejected a 2010 operating referendum.  Relationships between the community and the school have sometimes been tense.  While the board could conceivably return money from the grant to the taxpayers, we do not believe this is the way to go.  While the money could really alter life at RB for the better, that money divided among all of the taxpayers would not seem as significant.  And RB really does need the money.  The school will still wrestle with financial problems in the future after the teacher’s contracts are settled.  The grant money could help us tremendously.

While the board does make the final decision about how the grant money is spent, all of us believe that students should have a say.  The board owes it to us to consult with students, with staff, and with community members.  All will have their own individual opinions about what the money should be used for and all should be allowed to voice their thoughts. Nevertheless, the money is without a doubt the gift that RB needs at a time like this.  Still, we cannot be hasty about what we spend it on.  While lots of things could use a change, there is not enough money for everything.  What we spend it on should benefit the majority.

Money like this does not come along every day, so let’s be smart about it.

The entire Clarion staff contributed to this editorial.  The 2013-14 Clarion staff includes:

William Voorhees, Sean Pruett-Jones, Jeremy Baartman, Nick Cundari, Jack VandeMerkt, Steven Baer, Robby Filec, McKenna Powers, Catherine Jasionowski, Justin Griggs, Kate Alaks, Carey Torres, Chris Olszewski, Zach Hundrieser, Cameron Yarger, Killian Elwart, Niko Radicanin, Morgan Divittorio, Sarah Munoz, Alexia Kingzette, Mike Gmitro, Hannah Pecis, Jimmy Nolter, Isabel Pena, Cameron Bolton, Lauren Grimaldi, Mike Reyes, Matt Arenas, Paul Kritikos, Kiera Donnamario, and Rebecca Rusiecki.