Guest Columnist

Tominsky: Critical school programs need community support

David Tominsky is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board.

Your voice and your vote matter. Nov. 5 provides the community the opportunity to vote for four of the seven seats on the Cedar Rapids School Board.

Also on the ballot on Tuesday is the Revenue Purpose Statement which has been referred to as RPS or Public Measure E. The current RPS doesn’t expire until 2029 and the last time it was on the ballot was in 2009 when it passed with 80 percent of the community in favor. A ‘Yes’ vote provides the funding to improve our schools and the infrastructure that supports them. The state extended the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Fund until 2051. Public Measure E makes it clear to the community how this money can be used.

I support fully funding our schools and I plan to vote in favor of the Revenue Purpose Statement on Tuesday. I hope you will join me.

Creating the best learning spaces for our kids should be a priority for us. The voice of our community matters and we should prioritize the needs of our community. Look to spaces like the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Geonetric building in the New Bohemia District for shining examples of what 21st century learning spaces can be.

Understanding, addressing, and executing on a plan that will truly close the achievement gap should be seen as a top priority. Programs like Not Without Me, Grow Our Own, and the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success need our support and will help. Early childhood literacy through programs like Imagination Library are also proving successful in closing the achievement gap. Let’s explore these and more with focused leadership and community engagement. We can achieve by working together.

The Youth Peace Project at McKinley is a great example of how we can use restorative practices to resolve conflict in our schools. I believe programs like this can help transform our schools and we should be working together with partnerships like Kids First Law Center to implement similar programs.

Through community engagement, collaboration, and supporting our teachers with a community schools model we can do great things together.

David Tominsky is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board.

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