Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manifesto Against Venom and Vitriol or Vote YES on May 3rd in Washtenaw County's Special Education Millage Renewal

I have strong political convictions, but I won't usually make you listen to them, especially in my work with Service Dogs, volunteering at the hospital, on Facebook, working in schools, or on this blog. This blog is intended to celebrate the joy of raising readers and writers. But it started because of politics and AnnArbor.com.

You see, I started blogging and attempting to spread positive energy about literacy and learning because I was shocked and embarrassed about the toxic venom and vitriol spewed against teachers, children, and our schools on AnnArbor.com. (Full disclosure: I am a Community Contributor and have submitted articles to AnnArbor.com.) Why are these people so hateful? And why don't these people post under their real names?

But Mrs. Nice Lady stops now. If your kid ever used up more than 1/26th of the teacher's time: vote YES on May 3rd.  If your child uses services like a bus: vote YES on May 3rd. If you think  children who have special needs and their families deserve help from public school systems; vote YES on May 3rd.

The crazies will be out. And they will be voting. I (very) personally understand how this economy takes cheap shots. But please don't let our community hit our schools after Snyder, our state legislature, and the Michigan economy has knocked them down.

Even if the millage passes, there is still a 15 million dollar deficit in AAPS. Special Ed services are required by law. The loss of this tax continuation will create a 21 million dollar deficit in our district alone. And the cuts are already starting to fray at the edges.

These services are required by law to be provided; the monies will have to come from somewhere. If you don't like large class sizes and split classes - vote YES on May 3rd. If you don't want to lose more than has been proposed, such as 70 teachers and several principal positions (principals running two buildings!), vote YES on May 3rd. If you think that all children in Washtenaw County deserve good school, vote YES on May 3rd.

We moved to Ann Arbor for the schools. I am shocked by the venom and vitriol on-line. (Who posts hate like this anonymously?  What stinkin' cowards. I'll bet they'd be embarrassed for others to know what lies in their hearts.) Although I am hopeful this is a small and squeaky group, their toxicity makes me very sad about the state of the world. These kids deserve better.

Please- vote YES- on May 3rd.

And I, for one, am hopeful to have my faith in the world renewed by the fine citizens of Ann Arbor when I check the paper on May 4th.

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