The passage of the Solano Community College District’s Measure Q ought to be recognized as a wise investment in the future well-being of education – an investment which, when you carefully think about it, can be viewed not only as an investment in education, but as a reinvestment in the educational investments bestowed upon many of us from earlier generations.
Thus, our victory at the polls seems to represent our commitment to maintaining an ongoing cycle of investing in education for all.
My claim is no pie-in-the-sky utterance; in fact, it speaks to the overriding value of education in our lives. Education is the exclusive means by which a culture maintains and perpetuates itself. Is it not true that the survival of our American culture – our political and legal institutions, our family life, our language and our ethical and religious values – come before all other parochial and immediate interests?
The shrewd bumper sticker that reads, “If you can read this bumper sticker, thank a teacher,” is but a corollary of a larger insight: if you enjoy your American way of life, then thank the institution of education. Such an acknowledgment is but the natural outpouring of a grateful heart and an aspiring mind. The generous funding of education ought, therefore, to be seen not as a reluctant burden, but as the necessary means to achieve a supreme American public good, the preservation of American culture, or the American way of life.
To illustrate the worth of our investment in education, consider the remarkable case of Dr. Dinah Arumainayagam, an immigrant from Sri Lanka and a former Solano Community College student who has now completed her medical studies at Stanford University. As a family practice physician, she is ready to make her mark on the world. The more we hear of these kinds of stories, the better we realize the high value of our educational investments.
With each and every one of your votes for Measure Q, you – our local citizens – have given us the means to transform the Fairfield campus and make it more attractive and safe. You have allowed us to bring the Vacaville center to almost completion as well as to have provided us the opportunity to contribute to the new facilities for the School of Aeronautics at the Nut Tree Airport where the Jimmy Doolittle Museum will be built. You have given us the resources to better meet the needs of our students who attend the Vallejo center. And, you have opened up possibilities to create greater partnerships with all of the cities and the citizens that we serve.
Public education is our only means to preserve an American culture. Your vote epitomized the true meaning of “community” in Solano Community College and our students of today and tomorrow shall forever be indebted to the voters of Solano County and Winters. I thank you for investing our college. I thank you for listening not only to your grateful heart, but to your wisest self.
Jowel C. Laguerre is superintendent-president of Solano Community College.