Remember what Ben Franklin once said

To the editor:

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

That quote speaks to all of us who are interested in the upcoming bond referendum to support our schools. As a grandparent who has a granddaughter at Park Side and one at West Side, I am concerned about the current conditions of both buildings. West Side — Only three bathrooms for 350 students, a a parking lot for pick-up and drop-off that is congested and dangerous, boilers and pipes that need to be replaced, Title I classes in the hall, too many kids in a crowded cafeteria forcing them to eat as late as 1:30 p.m. and an inadequate, small classroom library, to name a few.

Park Side — built for 475 students, now houses 600, two outdoor portable classrooms with a bathroom, no room for mandated programs (Title I, special education) and families who want preschool for their children turned away because of lack of space, to name a few.

As a regular substitute teacher at the high school, I see first-hand the crowded cafeteria, the students packed into the art room and the science labs, the special needs students getting help in the hallways and teachers carting their supplies from room to room throughout the day.

Our education system has changed since the days of 35 in the classroom and outdoor bathrooms. Mandates dictate special programs so that all children receive the kind of help they need. Marshall is growing and we have welcomed many new families to the community in the past few years. This is progress and it is important that Marshall continues that progress through investing in our schools so that our children and grandchildren have the best opportunities for growth and learning. I have read letters that assert that teachers just want to work in new facilities or that administrators are being irresponsible with taxpayers’ money. Neither is true. What they want is a safe, comfortable, usable learning environment for our children.

Ben Franklin was right. Please vote for an investment in knowledge!

Carol Purrington