To the editor:
The purpose of this letter is to express my support for the use of Franklin Redevelopment Commission funds to purchase Chromebooks for Franklin Community Schools students. I believe there are many community benefits to this project, starting with preparing our youngest citizens for jobs in the 21st century.
Students today learn in far different ways than when any of us were in school and they need to be prepared for jobs which will be far different than what they were 20 years ago or even are today. We need 21st century tools to ensure that Franklin remains a great place in which to live, learn, work and play.
If it weren’t for the existence of the TIF district, Franklin community schools would be able to fund programs like this on its own, without having to appear to be asking for a handout. Each year, the school corporation does not receive approximately $1.5 million, which is instead allocated to the redevelopment commission.
Among the redevelopment commission’s acceptable expenditures is infrastructure, and I believe that word has caused confusion, leading some to question whether or not this project is in the scope of the redevelopment commission’s ability to fund. Sure, we need roads, bridges and sewers, the most common definition of the word, especially for those working in government. However, we need to think more broadly about what infrastructure really is.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of the word “infrastructure” includes “the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city or area, such as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools.” Even without looking up that definition, I believed that our schools, and the students who learn there, are a basic, underlying framework of our city. They are easily among the “basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.”
Franklin is a strong and vibrant community, but we need to retain and attract the people who can help us continue to improve; for if we don’t improve, we will stagnate. Franklin Community Schools has been experiencing great gains in achievement in many academic areas, which attracts new families and businesses. But if we just stand still, the world will pass us by. Even if you’re going in the right direction, you’ll get run over if you’re on the wrong track. We need to stay moving in the right direction and on the right track.