Troy can’t afford not to build new schools

To the Editor:

I began teaching Troy in the fall of 19179. Jimmy Carter was president, Larry Bird had just signed with the Boston Celtics, and the Bee Gees were topping the pop music charts. In the classroom, students sat at desks in nice rows, in rooms lined with chalkboards. There were no computers in the school and the only way to contact a parent was by using the phone on the secretary’s desk right beside her typewriter. The mimeograph machine was in constant use before and after school.

So much has changed in our world and in our schools since my days as an eager young teacher. One thing that hasn’t changed is our elementary school buildings in Troy. Some have had new roofs and they all have had a fresh coat of paint. The chalkboards have been replaced by whiteboards and SMART boards, but the buildings structurally remain like they have for decades. In today’s world, it is hard to believe we still send children to the same buildings designed for a time that has long since faded away.

Here are just a few reasons to vote yes for the upcoming school levy:

• New elementary schools will increase student learning time thanks to climate controlled facilities.

• New elementary schools will allow students to have balanced class sizes.

• New elementary schools will allow all students to have equal access to programming and instruction.

• New elementary schools will increase the space available for students to be involved in hands on learning.

• New elementary schools keep property values in Troy remaining high.

• New elementary schools will allow Troy to continue to attract great teachers.

To those who say the present buildings were good enough for me, they should be good enough for students today, I ask you to visit the schools on a warm fall day and ask yourself if this is the best we can do for our students? For those who say Troy can’t afford new schools, I would respectfully disagree and say Troy can’t afford not to move ahead and build schools that will enable our students to maximize their educational opportunities.

— Alan Zunke

Retired teacher and principal