Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 25, 2013

Forum: TCAPS investment pays off in many ways


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — A vote for our schools is a vote for a sustainable local economy. Please join us in voting “yes” for Traverse City Area Public Schools’ bond proposals 1 and 2 Nov. 5.

In 2010, we moved our family home from Boston to Traverse City to be closer to family. We were able to do so because technology allows telecommuting and instant collaboration with teams around the world. We choose to live in Traverse City because of access to high-quality educational opportunities through TCAPS, the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, Northwestern Michigan College and the University Center, availability of quality health care from physicians at Munson Medical Center, air transport via Cherry Capitol Airport, and family who also call northern Michigan home.

TCAPS has exceeded our educational expectations by providing learning opportunities that did not exist where we lived in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. TCAPS students have access to excellent teachers, innovative programs, early college opportunities, a full array of arts and athletics, international study, and lifelong local learning from preschool to graduate school. We appreciate that our local taxes contribute to a high-quality educational system that makes Traverse City a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Our schools can be excellent and competitive only with adequate funding, maintenance, and financial support. If we are to safely and effectively educate students, TCAPS requires increased safety and security, building maintenance and renewal, replacement of aging infrastructure, technology upgrades, space for growing programs like robotics, and a new auditorium at Central High School, all of which stimulate the local economy and lead to a more prosperous community.

To live near family in a creative, multi-generational community is one of the greatest gifts of life. We know this because of 20 years’ separation from family when high-tech employment meant living out of state and far from kin. As former members of the high-tech exodus, we’re grateful we brought our sons home to attend TCAPS. As they grow up, launch careers, and start families of their own, we want them to be able to live and work here, too. Educational funding and local investment is key to making that possible for us all.

Investment in TCAPS enhances our schools, home values, lives and futures. Please join us in voting “yes” for TCAPS’ proposals 1 and 2. There’s no place like home and no time like now.

About the authors: Dan R. Kaiser is a software architect with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. He is also a robotics team adviser for West Senior High School. Pamela Harris Kaiser is an independent educational consultant and member of the TCAPS District Advisory Committee and West Senior High Parent Advisory Committee. They have four sons and live in Long Lake Township.

About the forum: The forum is a periodic column of opinion written by Record-Eagle readers in their areas of expertise. Submissions of 500 words or less may be made by emailing letters@record-eagle.com. Please include biographical information and a photo.