Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: How did we ever survive our schooling?

on October 18, 2013 10:40 AM

As a semi-retired senior citizen who is sick of increasing budgetary demands in the Indiana Area School District, I offer the following:

My first three years of school were in a one-room, three-grade schoolhouse with no plumbing at all. My schoolmates and I walked to and from school about three-quarters of a mile along a road with no curbs or sidewalks.

All of the fourth-graders and half of fifth-graders were bused to Conemaugh No. 3 school, another one-roomer about five miles from my house. No plumbing there.

How did my schoolmates and I ever survive those harsh conditions?

My younger brother was four grades behind me so we never experienced the apparently essential bonding of attending elementary school in the same building.

I spent seventh through 12th grade in Saltsburg High School; yes, six entire grades under one roof!

A couple tubs in the study hall caught the roof leaks; snow would sift in through loose window frames. “The stage” was also the basketball court. Only two foreign language electives. No arts program. How did we ever survive?

When I entered Indiana State College in the fall of 1963, my matriculation exam scores were in the top dozen of 1,200 entering freshmen.

As I recall, a couple of my Saltsburg classmates were also in that dozen.

Some of my classmates went on to become teachers, engineers, nurses, business executives, government officials, etc. I had an increasingly responsible career at PennDOT for 36-plus years.

My brother was valedictorian of Saltsburg Class of 1967. He obtained a bachelor’s in math with a minor in physics from IUP. Later he obtained an MBA.

I think maybe even whining parents are beginning to see my drift at this point: It’s not the physical plant, or even the educational program. It’s student discipline combined with dedicated, motivated teachers like those we had at dear old Saltsburg. Parental support definitely helps.

We senior citizen taxpayers do not want an increase in our school taxes, no matter the consequences.

Even the most bleak (yeah, right) proposals by the most fiscally conservative IASD board members will result in a totally sufficient public school education.

All the students’ parents should be overjoyed at that prospect instead of mimicking Chicken Little.

We senior citizens do not want to pay for these nonessential “educational” expenditures. Keep taxes the same and live within that budget. Period!

Randy Cornman

Indiana

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