Education gets a needed boost from center, referendum

THERE’S A LOT MORE these days to secondary education than just teaching the three Rs.

It’s a complex and changing world today’s students are being prepared to take their part in, and it requires preparing them for a variety of opportunities and requirements.

The Plymouth School District continues to rise to that challenge, with the latest example coming with the groundbreaking ceremony last week for the new $1 million Food Science and Agriculture Center building on the high school campus.

The new building will be more – much more – than just classroom space.

The state-of-the-art facility will include a large greenhouse attached to a classroom featuring six lab stations. It will be surrounded by gardens that will be part of the learning experience and include the community as a whole as well.

The new center will provide education and training in a number of areas and fields that are in great demand in today’s workplace, especially in Plymouth and Sheboygan County. It will encompass seven different academic areas – agriculture, food science, culinary arts, science, engineering, health and business.

Construction of this new building will not mean an added burden on school district taxpayers, as the money came entirely from donations from individuals, businesses and organizations – including the city of Plymouth.

It stands alongside the district’s Science and Technology Center, operated in collaboration with Lakeshore Technical College, as a shining example of how public-private sector cooperative efforts can help expand the educational opportunities open to local students efficiently and effectively.

In these days of tightening school budgets and shrinking aid from other levels of government, these kinds of efforts are even more important – and their success is further proof of the high priority we all place on providing our children with the best education for their futures and ours.

The voters in the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District provided their own testimony of the priority they place on education as well.

Residents there approved a referendum for a four-year, $725,000 a year spending plan beyond state-imposed levy limits for maintenance and other purposes last Tuesday.

The margin of the vote was better than two-to-one in favor, a testament to the voters willingness to provide their outstanding school district with the means and tools necessary to continue providing quality education.

It also stands as a testament to the prudent, wise management of the district’s finances by the School Board and administration, who have successfully utilized earlier referenda to meet the district’s maintenance and educational needs in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.

It’s never easy, and it’s becoming more of a challenge in today’s changing and expanding world, but local residents have proven once again that they’re willing and able to meet that challenge.

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