As an educator, I am a firm believer in supporting local school districts. As an ex-collegiate athlete, I see the positive benefits that school athletic programs bring to districts, players, and even students who do not participate in sports but have a reason to be excited about their schools. Many of us are also concerned that we’ve gotten our priorities mixed up on these issues. A case in point appeared in my mailbox this last week. As we head to the polls on November 3, individuals from various communities will be asked to support school levies, bonds, and budgets. Where I’m currently living, we’ve been promised a lower millage and asked to vote for a new bond program. I was all for it until I saw the ways in which the money was to be used. Of the proposed $10 million, $3.2 million was earmarked for athletics – the largest chunk for any specified program. I began wondering what would happen if you gave the athletic department a measly $1 million and spent the other $2.2 million on scholarship funds for at-risk and under-served students? You end up having a school that still has a good athletic program and is putting more of its graduates in college. Of course, for so many small community administrators, winning a state championship in lawn bowling is more important than helping the next great scientific, humanistic, or creative mind reach its full potential. It’s time we gave citizens line item veto privileges.