THE CITIZENS AUDITOR
Battle Creek, Michigan. Cereal capital of the world. Home of Snap, Crackle, and Pop; Sugar Bear, Tucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, and the “World’s Longest Breakfast Table” held annually in celebration of its cereal creators roots. That’s what Battle Creek should be known for. Not so much anymore. Instead, recently, Battle Creek made number 22 on a list of “Top 25 Worst Cities to Raise Your Children.”
While the debate rages online about the accuracy of the numbers and stats reported, one thing is obvious: Battle Creek has some very serious issues in multiple areas regarding educational systems and supports for children that obviously need to be addressed. Below average high school graduation rate. Low preschool enrollment. Higher violent crime rate. Not to mention the huge decline in enrollment within the Battle Creek Public School District, that as a result, has seen multiple school buildings close and be put up for sale at fire sale prices.Knowing this, it’s fair to say that if Battle Creek is having issues regarding educational systems and supports for children, shouldn’t we try to improve our situation before we try to become education destination for other students from other countries?
Shouldn’t the city only meddle in city government and leave the various Boards of Education to handle school district issues? Or better yet—How common or appropriate is it for a City government/city official, to co-mingle in the affairs of local school boards? Or co-mingle their duties and responsibilities as a Hilliard Lyons Financial Advisor, City Commissioner/Mayor, Korean Martial Arts student and HapKiDo Board member?