To the Editor,

Curriculum or construction?

The WISD bond proposal is about superior academic achievement driven by both curriculum and construction. Student achievement should be the motivating factor of all of us, young and old alike. I am very aware that new and renewed buildings will not an education make.  However, I know that buildings can make a significant difference in the education value the students receive, not withstanding community pride. Dr. Jeremy Glenn, the administrators and the WISD Board do understand the importance of both for a quality education, pre-kindergarten through high school.  

Pay attention to what Waxahachie and Ellis County experienced with the NEW Baylor Scott and White Hospital facilities built in a better location at the crossroads of Texas. This new facility is the talk of the town and county. This new construction was built to state-of-the-art specifications for meeting health care needs and for application of the best treatment available.  The new buildings are attracting more new doctors, provides the best possible environment for healing, allows better efficiency of resources, and is operating at almost at capacity already, except for the sixth floor, which is expected to be utilized soon. When it comes to health, we all want the best.

Education should be so valued. Baylor Scott and White built this replacement hospital at their own expense because they saw the opportunity and the possibilities in this tremendous community. Navarro College, also, has provided Waxahachie with excellent facilities and is a growing quality educational value. Neither of the above has been at extra cost to taxpayers.  New buildings can enhance our education and can bring excitement and enthusiasm to our community of students and parents. We need to step up to opportunity and accept the responsibilities we have for our educational needs in this fast growing area of Texas. We invest time, energy and money in what we treasure.  Proverbs 8:11 says, “Wisdom is better than rubies….”

Imagine the motivation created and inspired by appropriate  rooms for new subjects, rooms that have proper light and colors, class rooms with cutting edge of tech and science equipment, buildings that can assist students to envision their own future by becoming more competitive in a fast pace changing world.  Environment makes a difference in dreams and visions for the future. I believe that we should address the competitive nature of employment and opportunity that demands our best, not our least, or a so-so mediocrity.

You should be aware that WISD is already addressing at least these six aggressive initiatives that enhance instruction, curriculum, guidance, and student achievements:   

1). All day Pre-K education;  

2). Additional counselors to help students make better choices, including a STEM Counselor-Director;  

3).  Increased salaries to employ more experienced and better trained  teachers that can be retained;  

4). Offering free dual-credit courses to students to enhance academic achievement and college readiness;  and

5). Bilingual education for both Spanish and English speaking students;  

6). Partnering with the Education Task Force of the  Economic Development Council to bring additional educational value with the addition of another university level provider for education close to home.  

Where is our selflessness that will sacrifice a few dollars for the education and teaching of our children for the future good of all of us?   

Elijah Cummings, of the U.S. House of Representatives, said, that if we provide students with an education, ”we help save our children from the clutches of poverty, crime, drugs, and hopelessness, and we help safeguard our Nation’s prosperity for generations yet unborn.”

Jan and I are voting “YES” on the WISD bond proposal.  Express your convictions by voting.  Voting is one freedom that we must demand of ourselves.            

Leroy Fenton, Th.D.

Waxahachie Economic Development Council

Education Committee Chairman