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Friday, October 8, 2010

MY HOMETOWN OF PORTSMOUTH, RHODE ISLAND, USA ON BBC AMERICA

My town just voted to not give the money to have year around music and art in the elementary public schools.

To Fund Or Not To Fund

...that was the question

There was a 30% voter turn out

Not to Fund

Option 1
2,198

To Fund
Option 2
1,690

The difference: 508 voters

Final Tally

Thanks to David D Croston

Precinct 2701 (Prudence Island Fire Station) — Option 1: 51; Option 2: 6

Precincts 2702 and 2703 (Portsmouth Multi Purpose Senior Center) — Option 1: 373; Option 2: 270

Precincts 2704 and 2705 (Common Fence Point Community Hall) — Option 1: 352; Option 2: 197

Precincts 2706, 2707 and 2708 (Portsmouth Town Hall) — Option 1: 604; Option 2: 514

Precincts 2709, 2710 and 2712 (Aquidneck Island Christian Academy) — Option 1: 818; Option 2: 703

This is the letter that arrived in the mail, the day before the vote. It has falsely stated opinions in it. Who wouldn't have voted "no" to funding the schools, if you believed this letter to be true?
Click the letter image to enlarge.

Commentary: Divided We Fall

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On the facebook page to Save the Arts and Sports in Portsmouth, RI, a person wrote that we need new leadership in the volunteer group who tried to save the arts and sports programs in our town's public schools.

I wrote this in response on that page:

I think it is not time for new leadership. The leadership was outstanding and I am grateful for it. It is simple to put down leadership. It is not simple to lead. When anyone criticizes leadership or says we need to have new leadership, I wonder why that very person isn't the one to be the next leader. Possible reasons are that it is time-consuming, thankless and very difficult.

Even good leadership needs people who are interested. Caring about the community's responsibility to provide funding for education is a touchy subject because for many people it will always come down to how one feels about teachers getting paid via the local tax dollars. And those who didn't vote who have children in the schools - have children in schools now that are offering a half year of what has always been offered the whole year long. There is a great divide and if those who have children in the schools, and those like myself who don't and are in our sixties, but still care about the education of "our" community's students, don't vote when voting is our way to say what our priorities are, then those who are motivated get their way. It takes more than leaders, it takes the rest of us to get involved.

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Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Portsmouth Public Schools and Portsmouth family on BBC America

Thursday, 30 September 2010


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