Mohon not getting adequate state aid
Mohonasen schools are facing a budget crisis. Inadequate increases in Mohonasen’s state foundation aid, the base aid for New York’s schools, have left our district with difficult choices to make in the upcoming district budget.
With the end of the state budget process, Mohonasen is a glaring example of what happens when the state underfunds our schools. The decisions at hand are not about how to expand our programs or extra-curricular activities to better serve our students; they’re about how many staff positions need to be cut and what programs need to be scaled back.
Mohonasen is still owed about $4 million in state foundation aid. The executive budget proposal called for just an $80,000 increase, to which state legislators added $58,000 in the final budget.
We cannot keep reducing resources and services at the local level, which impacts our class sizes and our learning environment, because the state has not followed through on full funding of foundation aid. It’s not fair to our students, our parents and our entire school community.
As educators, we strive to provide our students with every opportunity to succeed. After 33 years in the Mohonasen School District, I feel as if I’m at the apex of my career and still have much to give my students. However, without real state support, my fellow educators and I are forced to work against strong negative currents.
The fix is simple. Fully fund our public schools. It’s time the state stepped up.
Maria S. Pacheco
The writer is a teacher in the Mohonasen Central School District.
America shouldn’t favor one religion
In Jim Norris’ March 21 letter, he complains that George Will’s column on March 17 was part of an attempt to “de-Christianize our good old United States of America.”
This sounds as though he believes the United States should primarily be a Christian nation, and he thinks too many people are working against that.
Actually, “the good old United States of America” is not quite what he is longing for. Let’s go back to that good old day when the First Amendment was written, and note that the first sentence therein states (paraphrasing): The government must remain neutral regarding religion, and may not favor one over another.
George Washington was more explicit in his letter to the Tauro Synagogue in Providence, R.I., (again paraphrasing) that the idea of tolerance was not of one group granting other groups the privilege of being here, but rather that no one could have such discretion in the first place.
What he calls de-Christianizing is actually the growing trend, especially among younger citizens, to reject religion altogether, mostly because it has become irrelevant to them.
The only way he can increase the presence of Christianity in our country is to get more of the flock to return to their churches (of course without using government to help him).
We should be striving to reinforce the idea of the equality of all religions and atheism, not weaken it.
Spa day provided a touch of tenderness
As we all struggle with headlines evidencing a world about us which is stressful and worrisome, I was able to witness a genuinely human, praiseworthy outreach to a group of Baptist Health Nursing and Rehab residents on the morning of March 20.
This facility is working hard to bring a tenderness to its residents.
A spa day was highlighted in which ladies were fussed over, nails buffed and polished, feet and shoulders massaged. A sense of caring and touching conveyed in a way far from the hostilities of the outside world.
To care about what it takes to make someone significant and feel good about themselves — such is the goal of the Baptist health care team. I was privileged to see a special sweet side of life.