To the editor:
The other day I dropped my first-grader off at school. Natalie is in good hands at New York School and she adores her teacher. But that day my 4-year-old wanted to stay and, as we didn't have to rush off, we stayed for about 20 minutes.
In that time, the teacher packed in dozens of concepts that are the foundation of academic and career success along with social skills required to get along in the world. Nearly every hand was raised and the kids crowded around, eager to learn.
I'm told this has something to do with the small class size we are fortunate to have this year. But to keep our public schools strong and to provide smaller classes we need a commitment from our state to adequately fund them.
Our school is 72 percent economically disadvantaged; this is their school. Maybe those kids and kids like them would be OK without good public schools, maybe they'd figure out how to get the skills they need to contribute to society, maybe our state would be able to compete without good teachers and smaller class sizes, but I doubt it. So I urge state legislators who have tried to stop adequate public school funding to pay a visit to their public schools. Maybe they have the nerve to look those kids in the eye and give them the message directly: "You're just not worth it."
Let's hope that's not the message they send next session.
Nancy Cayton Myers,