Sunday, May 19, 2024

Voices of Franklin: Selena Cousin -"the Franklin community desperately needs this override"

Friends and neighbors, the Franklin community desperately needs this override. As many of you know, each and every part of a community needs to be strong and healthy in order for a town to thrive. Admittedly, I’m still a relative “newcomer” to Franklin—my family has only lived here a little over 2 decades. But in that time, we have supported Franklin in many ways—even some that don’t directly benefit our own family—because looking out for each other is what it means to be part of a community. 

Just to share a few examples, we have supported the Franklin Food Pantry, we have supported building (and later expanding) a beautiful new Franklin Senior Center, we supported building the new Tri-Country Regional Vocational High School, we supported expanding the Franklin Public Library and we have supported the Unified Sports program. While these programs in Franklin don’t directly benefit any members of my own family, they are undoubtedly essential for the well-being of our entire community. I know most of you can add your own examples of ways you volunteer and contribute to our town, including ways that benefit not just your own family, but others as well. 

Well, now it is time for us all to support our Franklin Public Schools (FPS) in the upcoming override election. Our schools desperately need more money, and as a parent and an educator, I have sadly watched over 22 years worth of cuts be made to FPS programs and activities at the expense of the youngest members of our community. Many of the cuts seemed small at the time, but when combined over a couple of decades, the effects have been absolutely devastating to our schools. Simply put, our school district just cannot survive any more cuts. Our district will no longer be positioned to attract, hire, and retain the most promising and talented teachers here in  Franklin, and without them, our schools will quickly fall into mediocrity. 

At FHS alone, just about everything that is not a core academic requirement or legally required by the state will be GONE. I can’t think of a single FHS student that will not be impacted negatively if this override does not pass. Our high school students stand to lose the most—all art classes, all music classes, band, orchestra, chorus, all theater classes, AP classes, elective classes, National Honor Societies, Franklin Arts Academy, Franklin Theater Company, athletics, after school clubs—ALL GONE!!!—along with some of the very best and most talented teachers in the district who teach these classes and lead these programs. The elementary and middle schools will also be severely impacted as well. 

As a community, we have generously supported each other in so many different ways over the years. Now it is time for us to stand up and support THOUSANDS of the most vulnerable and deserving members of our community—the kids. Please, let’s all send a strong and unified message to the thousands of amazing students and the hundreds of dedicated, talented teachers who teach them that we strongly support public education here in Franklin. Alone, we can do so little, but together we really can make a big difference for kids and for our town. Let’s VOTE YES and continue to ensure that our Franklin Public Schools are the very best they can be for many years to come.

Selena Cousin

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Voices of Franklin: Selena Cousin -"the Franklin community desperately needs this override"
Voices of Franklin: Selena Cousin -"the Franklin community desperately needs this override"

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