Editor, Times-Union:
I read with great pleasure the front-page article in Saturday’s paper regarding success coaches being placed in our schools in our county. It truly is a win for all if children stay in school and complete, at a minimum, a high school education. Our children win with the potential for higher lifetime earning potential, the community wins with a more healthy and better educated populace and the school system wins because every kid that finishes their high school education means more revenue that the state will pay our school corporation to contribute toward funding our school corporations.
For years we have been reading about declining graduation rates, the increase in absenteeism and the school systems need to find solutions for children who are struggling in the mire of problems that are hindering their ability to complete this minimal expectation. It is refreshing to finally see a glimmer of light. I congratulate the efforts of those who created this vision and established a process where results have already been documented to successful in providing a positive outcome that our children and we so badly need. Moving the graduation rates up from the mid 70’s to the high 80’s in just the last few years is no small accomplishment and we all should support expanding those efforts. We should also congratulate all of those early first educators in our school systems who had the courage to “take the bull by the horns” and to step out of their comfort zone to try to find a solution.
However, one question still bothers me. The article points out that a major portion of the funding has thus far been provided by private donations from a number of agencies in our community. Understanding that our school corporation receives in excess of $5,000 per pupil for each year that they are in school, one would think that every participating school board member would be highly motivated to encourage every school to identify the “at risk” population of children and get enough success coaches entrenched in their budgets so that we could optimize the impact of this program.
What a concept, a new program that both works and is self-funding. How about it school board members? Are you aware of the positive impact that adequately funding this effort can generate for the children of our community? Personally, I am much more impressed with this outcome for my educational investment, than others that I have seen in the last 35 years that I have lived in this wonderful community. Keep up the good work!
Ron Donkers
Warsaw, via e-mail