Divisiveness not needed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 13, 2001

in education sectors

Unlike the storms that occur in nature ­ outside of any human control ­ we have the ability to look to the clouds looming on the horizon and disperse them before they become a destructive storm.

Last week’s editorial "K-12 cuts run deeper than higher education cuts" was a misguided editorial opinion.

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I’m a product of the K-12 system and higher education in Troy. My elementary school years were spent in Kilby Hall on the Troy State University campus, where the Adams Administration Building now stands. I’m a graduate of Charles Henderson High School and received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from TSU. I support and applaud the K-12 educational system in Troy and their efforts in producing a quality education to our children. I believe our K-12 system in Troy and Pike County is the BEST! But, it doesn’t stop there.

Citizens of Troy and Pike County ­ I sincerely hope that each of you realize that we do not need divisiveness within our education sectors. For the paper to support such divisiveness is a step in the wrong direction for Troy, Alabama. OUR university provides and offers many many services, not only to the citizens of Pike County, but to every surrounding county in this state. Our university is what makes this town special!

If we as citizens of Troy, Pike County, and the state of Alabama do not take precaution against this storm as it gathers, we risk becoming bitterly divided. If we do not make a meaningful commitment to higher education, we will see generations of young people lose hope, as they face a doubly harsh dilemma: higher education becoming more and more essential for success in the new economy…yet, increasingly available only to those fortunate enough to be born into a family of wealth. We must embrace justice, fairness and inclusion for all. If we do not, divisiveness will surely plaque us in making our dreams of justice, fairness and inclusion a mere illusion.

Let us work together to meet the challenges we face. Let us make quality higher education a universal experience. As our chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. has clearly pointed out: "You cannot feed one and starve the other!…and if K-12 is now promoted as an essential state function, then why is a university degree NOT essential to succeed in today’s world? We believe in K-12. Alabama needs K-12, but it also needs higher education. Alabama has great universities and Alabama needs these great universities to reach its potential to be a great state."

I’m asking you to stand in opposition of this divisiveness and support Chancellor Hawkins as he leads the Troy State University System and the Council of Presidents for our four-year public institutions in this state.

Together, we can and will succeed! Our actions can push away the storm clouds on the horizon so that the sun continues to shine hope and opportunity upon Alabama, promising a brighter future for all of us.

An old song says it well "United we stand ­ divided we fall."

Thank you.


Debbie Davis Fortune, Ed.D.

SEAL Network Coordinator, TSU

Higher Education Partnership Member.  

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