Another school year began this past Monday mornring. Public schools and public education across the area are facing many challenges. We see it and understand much of what they are faced with. Schools must balance competing and changing needs of educating our children. They must work around safety issues, health issues and, unfortunately, even political issues.

We want public schools to be a safe haven for students. We want public schools to be a nurturing place of love and learning. We want our public schools to be inclusive of all students. We want our administrators, teachers, parents and school board members to reach out to lawmakers, businesses and other community members to discuss the importance of public education. To make our schools better and ensure support from people, businesses and organizations they never expected to.

We consider ourselves here at the newspaper to be allies of public education. We undstand the importance of a strong and resourceful public education system. We ask lawmakers to listen carefully and to take into consideration the needs public schools have to continue providing quality education for ALL children, no matter their race, gender, sex, ethnicity, physical or mental challenges.

It’s also important for school board members to listen to the community when it comes to K-12 public education. They have every right to be involved and have a voice in their perceived philosophy of education for our students and families, the neighborhoods and communities they live in. We believe educators and school leaders have been committed to providing and maintaining a powerful learning environment for our children, we thank them and hope others take the time to think about what a big job it is.

So with summer vacation a memory now for most public schools, take this opportunity to say thank you to your child’s teacher, principal and support staff members. We hope this school year will be about learning, a show of school pride, fun and be filled with a dedication for public education for our children’s sake.