In a recent editorial in the Roundup, the editor wrote that we should have come up with more money to increase teachers' salaries. I support that idea.
However, a few weeks ago, the editor also wrote a column in favor of spending about $250,000 on a new all-weather track field and other sports-related items. These two editorials are in conflict because some of the $250,000 could have gone to teachers who currently volunteer their time to teach extracurricular activities.
When you consider that there are only about 200 to 300 students, out of the 2,900 students in the district, who participate in sports. That leaves 2,600 students, about 90 percent of all students, plus teachers, who don't benefit from this money.
Maybe instead of spending all of that money on sports equipment and improvements, the money should have been spent on programs or equipment that would have benefited the majority of students and some of the teachers.
My school, Rim Country Middle School, has only about 30 to 40 computers that the students can use. The computers are at least 10 years old and only three of those computers have Internet access. We have no classes that teach us any of the current software programs, how to do research on the Internet or even basic skills using Windows. We do have a class that teaches us how to type on a computer.
The Credit for Kids dollars could also have been better spent by spreading some of the money to other extracurricular activities, such as music. Since Mrs. Gonzalez recently died, we really need a teacher who can provide us with the opportunity to take instrumental lessons after school. Part of the money could have gone to teachers who wish to teach a nonacademic class after school, like fishing, going on nature walks or archery.
I hope that next year, if we have the opportunity to spend a quarter of a million dollars, the school board will consider some of these alternatives so that the other 90 percent of the students can benefit from that money, and some of the teachers who currently donate their time after school can be paid.
Rim Country Middle School Student
Editor's note: The money that will be used to build the high school's all-weather track was raised through the state's Credit for Kids tax program. Schools must use Credit for Kids money for extracurricular facilities and equipment. Last year, the district used the money to buy band instruments at the high school and middle school and to complete the high school's mini theater. Credit for Kids money cannot be used to fund teacher salaries.,