Many decisions

Dear Editor:

We have many decisions to make when we vote on Tuesday, November 6th.  If you are like my family and I, we’re tired of hearing all the ads on television regarding who, what, and where to place our vote.  We definitely need to do our research to be prepared to exercise one of the wonderful freedoms we have in our country.  However, there is one area I would like to share with you regarding the Regional Enhancement Millage proposal which will be on the Tuesday, November 6th ballot.  I know how challenging it is with our economy; however, I just wanted to share that this millage would help our local children for the next 5 years to come.  This is one way that we can jointly invest in our children for their role in our society with deepening their knowledge and abilities. 

Part of this millage will help keep and expand a program, CTE (Career and Technical Education).  Both of my children have been fortunate to participate in CTE through the cooperative effort between the High School and CG-RESD for the last 3 years.  I really appreciate it when I see educational programs that are a result of educational institutions are willing to cooperate with each other to make our tax dollars more effective for the community!  For example, since the CTE program started up, some of our High School teens, in both Gladwin and Clare counties, have been riding a school bus shuttle from their High School to Mid- Michigan Community College and other locations for these CTE classes, where the Clare Gladwin RESD have rented rooms or been provided with spaces to offer special trade and technology classes.  So far these CTE classes have been for Computer Technology, Automotive Technology, Construction Trades, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Careers, Graphic Arts, Health Occupations, and Welding. In all the areas, students are still expected to do the mathematics, reading for research, and writing for their projects.  With the new millage, CG-RESD is planning to add Manufacturing and Agriscience to the list of areas our community High School students could choose from. Our school’s counselor does an excellent job in coordinating the CTE student’s classes/schedules.  Part of the day they’re at their Career and Technical Education program, then for the remainder of the school day they continue on with their High School classes at school. 

Personally, we have two sons who have really benefitted from this program.  Our oldest has completed two years of computer classes under Mr. Langley.  The skills our son learned under Mr. Langley’s guidance really challenged my son’s ability and developed his desire to go further into Computer Technology.   When he graduated from High School and wanted to receive more education, he chose to enroll at Mid-Michigan Community College for further education.  We were pleasantly surprised to hear that the College recognized these CTE classes and awarded him a few credit hours for them.  It was so nice to see some credit hours on his transcript that we did not have to pay for thanks to this CTE program. 

Our other son is in his second year of CTE Automotive class and his last year of High School.  During his first year of CTE Automotive, the tests that the teacher, Mr. Hollister, expected the students to take were the Michigan Secretary of State mechanic tests.  The students are shuttled by school bus to a Michigan Secretary of State location to take their test.  Two trips are planned, one trip was for the electrical test and the other is for the brakes test.  My son passed both so he could go out and work on cars in those two areas at a business.  Even though he is not working at this time, he is still keeping his focus on finishing his last year at High School. 

I realize with the economy and gas prices, it’s hard to think of spending more money.  But for the average homeowner who has a home valued at $70,000 with a taxable value of $35,000, that homeowner would invest $52.50 per year ($4.38 per month) for the next 5 years.  Granted, not all the millage money will go for CTE classes.   A portion of it will go to the School districts to be spent in their areas of need.  I did mention earlier that the CTE programs require transportation, so some of the moneys in the districts will go towards helping with that.   Plus, at the rate technology changes each day, there is a need for schools and the CTE classes to help our students keep up in the knowledge in those changes of new technology. 

Right now, I cannot think of a better way to invest money other than in our children’s abilities and their future.  Plus, I can’t help but think that with this Regional Enhancement Millage investment, we will be equipping our children with abilities that will be a great help to them after they graduate from High School.  Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on this proposal.

A proud and blessed mother, 

Michele Talley