Working to help district

My name is Richard Carlson and I am one of the candidates running for a seat on the Gloversville Enlarged School District Board of Education. I have served on the board for the past three years and am currently its president. I would like to continue serving on the board to help further the progress the district has made in improving the educational programs and opportunities it offers its students. Our community makes a significant investment in education each year, and it is essential we achieve a satisfactory return on that investment.

Clearly, our district needs to continue to improve its high school graduation rate and better prepare our students for college and future work careers. The district has already provided additional support to its elementary and middle school literacy programs with promising results. The budget to be presented to voters Tuesday would expand those programs further and also enrich the district’s business and technology programs, offering our students additional training useful for pursuing careers in those fields. The budget also would restore some of the music and athletic programs that had to be cut in recent years, providing students additional opportunities for a well-rounded education.

However, all these programs come at a cost that must be contained if they are to be sustainable. Over the last three years we have partnered with Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Greater Johnstown School District to consolidate transportation operations and maintenance and cafeteria services, resulting in significant savings for both districts. The district also has expanded its use of other BOCES services to further manage its expenses. We will continue to work with BOCES and others to identify additional cost savings and new sources of revenue to support needed programs and minimize the tax burden on our community.

Like most of us, I received my education in the public schools of my home community. At this point in my life, I can look back and appreciate the difference it has made for me over the years; it opened doors that otherwise would have been closed to me. If anything, a sound education is even more essential today than ever, both for our students and our community. I want very much to continue working with everyone in the district to provide that education for our students, and I ask for your support Tuesday.