“I was shocked to learn that roughly 30 percent of ninth grade students in Allentown and surrounding areas don’t graduate," he said. "How can we expect them to have good lives without a functional education?”
He would rely mostly on the private sector for funding.
“I want people to imagine a great and vibrant after-school center,” he explains. “It should be open weekends and during the summer, and provide not only the technology of the future but the values of the past provided by mentors.”
|Mayor Ray O'Connell with kids this summer|
at Cedar Beach Park
In December, Allentown's school board was told that a high percentage of ninth graders at William Allen (277) and Dieruff High Schools (139) must repeat their freshman year. It was learned that Dieruff receives more funding for after-school services than Allen.
Putting politics aside for a moment, this is an innovative idea that Allentown surely needs. Mayor Ray O'Connell has often tied the City's success to the school district.
“The future of our children is tied to great and effective education, especially our minority and inner-city children,” said Nothstein. Unfortunately, much of Allentown's population is transient. Many minority parents who are more worried about putting food on the table than seeing their son or daughter play sports.
This is an idea that should be adopted by Nothstein's two opponents, Susan Wild and Tim Silfies. In forums at which I've seen or heard them, all three have stressed the importance of education.