The Price Of Education Is Small Compared To The Cost Of Ignorance

I grew up in Parma on Theota Avenue near the Pearl and Ridge Road intersection. I attended the Parma Pubic Schools through high school. I graduated from Valley Forge High School in the class of 1966. I was able to go to college right after high school and graduated from Kent State University in June 1970. While I was attending school in Parma, I never gave much a thought about the quality of education I was receiving. I just took the courses I needed to get into college. My grades were good, but I was not National Honor Society; but they were good enough for me to get into college.

However, when I was in my freshmen year at college, I was coasting through my classes while other students who were ranked much higher in their high school classes were struggling. What I learned was that those students, although their high school grades might have been higher did not take the courses that I took at Valley Forge High School. Nor were the classes as challenging.

After I graduated from college, I taught high school science in a semi rural school in northwestern Ohio. I saw a great difference in the quality of facilities and the courses in that high school from what I experienced at Valley Forge High School. This was especially true in science and math where advanced level courses were just not offered at that high school. In addition, the course was not nearly as challenging as what I took at Valley Forge High School. I realized why some of those students whose grades were much higher than mine in high school struggled when they got to college.

In addition, the school was in an aging building and the science classrooms were not equipped to teach a lab oriented science class. There were no facilities for basic demonstrations and experiments. This was more than fifty years ago.

I bring this up because in that semi rural school district, the people there were more concerned with keeping their taxes low and not in education, In fact, many of the parents of those in my class had a disdain for education.

The entire purpose of education and the public schools is to educate the youth and prepare them for success in the adult world. Whether they go on to college or learn a trade or vocation, the quality of education they receive is essential to success. A good education when one is young often determines their success in the world as an adult.

The problem in Parma now is that our schools are aging and underutilized. The newest building in the Parma Public Schools is Normandy High School which opened in 1968. That was when Lyndon Johnson was President and the Beatles were still together and making music. Many of our schools in Parma were built more than sixty years ago. We are trying to teach young people in the 2020s in buildings as old as their grandparents. Just about every neighboring school district has newer buildings and facilities.

There is a 3.95 million dollar bond issue on the ballot this month to build a new high school and consolidate some of our aging buildings. The state will pay for 71,9 million dollars toward the cost of this new school construction. The consolidation of the three high schools into one centrally located high school in a modern building will not only improve the quality of education in the Parma school district but would save money in the long run since older buildings cost more to maintain.

Sure, passage of this bond issue will cost the homeowner an estimated $11.53 a month per $100,000 of home value. But don’t just look at this as a cost. Instead think of this as an investment in the community whether or not you have children in the public schools. It is an investment in the future of the Parma community. It will make Parma a more attractive place for families to live. The public schools serve the entire community, not just the families who have children in the schools.

In the world today, if a community or state is not progressing, it is regressing and falling behind those other communities and states that are investing in the future. The price of a good education as well as a high quality public school system is small compared to the cost of ignorance or doing nothing.

If Parma is going to attract the kind of families and businesses that make a community thrive, there must be a good quality public school system. One thing is certain if this bond issue fails is that it would cost much more to take care of this in the future.

You can learn more about this issue on this link:

Lee Kamps

Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 8:04 AM, 10.01.2022