Merger about opportunities for children

To concerned Northville residents:

As a Northville native and Northville Central?School graduate, I am encouraged by the fact many people want to move forward with our community and merge the Northville and Mayfield school districts.

I am concerned about the anti-merger rhetoric that I have heard of late. The primary focus should be on our children and their future, and how we can provide the best educational opportunities for them.

Recently, we received a “vote no” flyer. Nowhere in the flyer was anything said about increased advantages for our kids if we do not merge. That is because there are none. Projected decreasing enrollment in Northville will mean less state aid and fewer opportunities for kids. The merger will offer a better opportunity to improve education for the kids – better than the status quo.

Let us put aside for a moment the fact the critical issue is giving our young people the best education we can. It is interesting that one argument put forth in the “vote no” flyer is that Northville will have less representation on the new school board. This paranoid view presumes that new board members would be dishonest enough to vote only for what is good for them, not the whole district. That is not the case with school boards.

The flyer also states that only $50,000 goes toward increased education: That is wrong. The purpose of the $19 million grant is to improve educational opportunities for the whole district. I would echo what former Superintendent Gerald Fitzgerald said in his letter to this paper – check out the facts. Read the study and ask people who know.

Northville only offers art and music for one out of eight school days. Northville cannot even field a baseball team. Is that real opportunity for our students? How will that be fixed with the declining enrollment?

What is the first thing a young family moving into Fulton County would look for when deciding where to settle? Where the kids will go to school. Given the choice between Northville school district and, say, the Broadalbin-Perth school district, they will naturally choose to move to the district with more to offer the kids: B-P.

It is about the children, their future, and giving them the best opportunities we can. Let’s not count on the status quo; it is time to move forward.

I am voting “yes” Jan. 7.


Class of 1965,