You Get What You Pay For

The citizens of Indianapolis who live within the Indianapolis Public Schools boundaries will have the opportunity on November 4th to choose to make a long term investment in the educational success of children and young people by voting to approve a bond issue that will allow IPS to improve facilities in which one of the most important activities in our community takes place – the pursuit of knowledge and learning.

Why shouldn’t those facilities be comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside; have adequate spaces for learning, eating, and physical activity; be well-lit, inviting, and welcoming? We wouldn’t go to a hospital for treatment if it was dingy, sub-standard, cramped, and run-down. Clearly we want the schools in which our most precious resources are being nurtured and prepared to become the next generation of community leaders, scientists, doctors, and captains of industry to be at least equal to the places where games and sports are played, meaning they should be spacious, well-equipped, and filled with the most modern amenities.

IPS students need to feel that the community really means it when we say we value them and their education. We clearly do this when we provide them with facilities that meet basic standards of comfort and health (which is where most of the bond money will be spent) and when we provide them with access to learn and use modern technology. Computer and internet skills are not a luxury but an absolute necessity in the world today. If we want students to be successful as they move into high school, college, and the world of work, we have to provide them with the tools they need.

I am confident that the voters of our community will see the wisdom in investing their hard-earned dollars in something that will yield significant returns in the long run – our young people and their education. After all, you get what you pay for.


Crunching the Numbers for Youth Services

In the last week, two reports chock full of information were released by local number crunchers. And the reports might have data that will help (1) organizations appropriately target and make the case for services and (2) the Indianapolis – central Indiana community as a whole discover how much we need to do to improve the lives of young people.

We’ll be highlighting specific areas of interest over the next few weeks, but you can check out both of the reports today:

  • The Marion County Health Department’s Marion County Community Health Assessment has a special section on children’s health, but several other areas of the report including access to care, environmental health and social and mental health clearly impact the health of central Indiana’s youth.
  • The United Way of Central Indiana’s 2008 Community Assessment also has a section focused on children and youth, as well as several sections that highlight additional community factors that impact young people.