A Father Speaks...

March 22, 2002

Dearborn Public Schools are in a crisis, and for the sake of all Dearborn children our schools deserve a chance. I urge all residents to Vote YES for both Bond Proposals on the ballot on Tuesday March 26.

The burden is on the members of the Board of Education to have an open, honest and responsible public discussion in order to decide what needs to be cut to save several million dollars from next year's budget. If the Board bears this burden, the responsibility will then fall on us, parents and taxpayers, to accept the cuts of a few for the benefits of the many. Board members should conduct a professional national search for a qualified person to be the next superintendent. Dearborn Schools need a new Chief who is TOTALLY independent from local and Board politics. We, the voters and parents of Dearborn, must do our share to solve the current crisis. We must vote YES Tuesday, March 26 to address the overcrowding problem, once and for all. The Bond should never be used as a weapon to fight the Board. It should be judged on its merit. Anger at Board members should be properly directed at them, if and when they run for reelection. Misdirected anger at the current Bond proposal may harm all of us except those targeted Board members.

Unlike its predecessor, the current proposal is comprehensive and addresses the overcrowding at all levels of education. It reduces bussing and restores neighborhood schools. We need to support it for the sake of our kids and our property values. Regardless of where the new buildings are located, they will affect everyone. If we don't build, kids will have to be bussed from the overcrowded schools, mostly in the East end, to the ones that have space, mostly in the West end. Let's pull together and serve the one group we care most about: our kids, our future. Vote Yes on March 26.

- Abed Hammoud