TCAPS' misguided priorities
On June 8 the Traverse City Area Public Schools board of trustees voted 6-1 to discontinue the "Great Start Program." This program prepared 4-year-olds for kindergarten and was designed to help families with economic hardships.
The reason for this decision: "It was going to cost the district $125,000." Interim Superintendent Jim Pavelka stated. "I cannot recommend that the district continue to lose money."
Since when is public education supposed to make money? What are the priorities of TCAPS? It is my understanding that our community has identified early childhood programs such as Great Start as a high priority. Effective programs such as Great Start are going to cost money. Research supports putting our money into programs like Great Start, because they have high social and economic value for our community.
Every dollar spent on research-based programs like Great Start will be a great investment for our community. It will reduce higher costs in the future.
I share Mr. Pavelka's hope that another entity will take over the Great Start program. I also hope that our TCAPS administration and board look more closely at their priorities for the future and pay attention to what our community members are saying is important to them.