Your voice: Education, not ambassador program, needs funding

To the editor:

Given the needs of the city of Syracuse, your positive article on the new Syracuse Ambassador program is unfortunate. If the City had money to burn, such a program might be appropriate, but given other needs, especially the school, such expenditures are unjustified.

I am 69 and have no children or grandchildren and thus no personal interest in education but the Eagle does. The Eagle is dependent upon literate readers. Given the quality of a Syracuse public education, The Eagle will soon be without potential readers in the city. Far too many students fail to graduate and an appalling percentage of those who do stay for twelve years are poorly educated. The problem is only partly funding. It is my impression that the city does not recognize its obligation to educate our students. As for funding, I would be happy to pay more property taxes if the result was well-educated graduates of the Syracuse school system.

A well-educated population is essential for a real democracy and critical to the maintenance of the American standard of living and economy. A successful school system would address some of the city's problems. If the Syracuse schools were much better, people would move into the city, the average income would rise, property values would increase, the city economy would strengthen, and tax revenues would increase.

Unfortunately neither the press nor the city government seem prepared to address this problem. - David W. Flagg, Syracuse

Editor's note: Mr. Flagg makes an excellent point, and we agree that education needs to be a higher priority for the city and the community. We were, however, pleased to see that the not-for-profit Downtown Committee had finally put use to federal grant funds specifically allocated to the ambassador and downtown information and security center project nearly two years ago.

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