I have now been a parent for three wonderful years. The more I see out my son the more hope for the future I have. I am more committed as a person here in our local community and since have been more involved in what goes on around our great little town. I recently joined the Optimist Club to be involved in community activities like cleaning up litter, helping youth with programs and sponsorships and generally just pitching in to help wherever I can. I get to read to kindergarten kids and it is a lot of fun.
I was lucky enough to ask Mayor Max Bacon a question during one of our Friday morning meetings. I asked, "How much involvement is there by Smyrna government in our schools?" After a small but quizzical silence, he answered as best he could and was able to say how much some groups have raised for some schools and so on and so forth. But, the real problem I thought was that there really was no control on a local level. It starts with the county, then the state, and of course the federal level. There is no real "local" responsibility. It is at a distance where some far off person or group makes decisions en masse. This is the crux of the problem. Can one person really speak for tens of thousands or 100,000 or more? The answer is a resounding no.
Our schools are faced with a myriad of problems that can only be resolved at a local level. We need decision makers without fear of a politicized system. The further away decisions are made, the worse the repercussions and the easier to avoid responsibility for them. Control must be local. Think about a school board made up of people who you know, who you can talk to, who listen, or who you can call on the phone. Think of the empowerment and effect that would really have. When people line up to speak en masse now, what really happens? Very little.
We have a lot to live for when we feel we have a stake in our future. I like my town, my state, and my country. But I feel we are truly moving in the wrong direction in many areas and education is clearly one of them. I will continue to do my best to help, but I really think we need to make some changes where we control not just our own destiny, but our children's as well.