- The following letter to the editor was submitted by Christa DiNapoli, Chair of the Legislative Action Network of the Northville Council of PTAs
Northville voters have a choice this November. Current Northville Board of Education trustees Cynthia Jankowski and Matthew Wilk are joined by Michael Barrett, Roland Hwang and Adam Phelps in a five-person race for three open seats on the Board.
The PTA Legislative Action Network will host a Candidate Forum on Monday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hillside Middle School Forum. Please take this opportunity to learn more about the candidates. Audience members will also have an opportunity to submit questions.
These five individuals have agreed to give of their time and talent to serve our community. Those elected will undoubtedly face serious and often controversial decisions as they serve their four year terms. Over the past several years the Board, along with the administration, has had to make nearly $10 million in budget cuts, the results of which include reductions in programs and services, the institution of pay-to-participate fees for athletics and extra-curricular activities, contracting out transportation and custodial workers, and higher class sizes. The decision to eliminate much-loved programs or say goodbye to staff is never an easy one, and Board members must carefully weigh options before arriving at those decisions.
The Board has also grappled with offering choice to balance the needs of a relatively small percentage of families or students with the majority. For example, the Board made a decision to offer a choice between abstinence-based and abstinence-only health classes. More recently, they chose to continue offering a half-day kindergarten program for those families who felt strongly about having this option as the district transitioned to full-day kindergarten.
Moving forward, the Board is likely to deal with many more difficult decisions. As voters, we should learn as much as possible about the candidates and their views on key issues that affect our schools. We hope to see you at the Candidate Forum on Monday.
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