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September 8, 2008 - Kylie Saari
I have held off long enough.
It is time for me to shed my coat of unbiased reporting and reveal my opinion - something reporters are not often allowed to do. I believe it is important for the school district referendum to pass, and I encourage all of you to vote yes. And just for disclosure purposes, my children DO NOT go to the public school.
Here is why we need to vote yes:
1) Whether or not you agree with what has been done in the past, it is absolutely unacceptable to allow children to spend 7 hours or more a day in buildings that are dangerous, require them to test with water dripping on them or nearby, or encourage injury by making them take gym class on substandard floors. I understand if you are mad about the county assessors being unfair - but take that up with the assessors, not with the kids.
2) If the referendum had been past in November, we would have a brand new school building (added on to 5 Lakes) for the elementary, the parking problems would be resolved at Budd, all urgent maintenance would be taken care of at all district buildings, and we could breathe easy knowing our kids are safe, all for just $12 dollars a month. Now, if we pass it, we will have to have only a few of the problems taken care of, a likely referendum in the future with what to do with Budd school, and increased construction costs, all for roughly $10 a month (when you include the expected heath and safety bonding that is now necessary because the referendum didn't pass in November.) So now we will end up paying more per month because we still need to deal with Budd School. And guess what? If we don't pass this referendum on Tuesday, we will end up paying even more. I am a homeowner. I don't like paying taxes any more than you. If you don't pass it this time, it will just keep getting higher.
3) A little message for those of us who send our kids to private school. I am one of you, but we can only do private until 6th or 8th grade in town, and that means that our privately educated children will likely end up in the publicly funded high school. I don't want my little ones getting rained on during class, and I am sure you don't either.
This is the third time I have been covering this referendum attempt. I understand the issues, been to the school board meetings, the public meetings, listened to folks who are worried about the costs and the errors in judgment it is felt the school board made in the past. Everyone has a valid point. I have reported without my opinion, because that is my job. But I am going to lay it all out for you here. The main reason for voting yes:
THEY HAVE NO OTHER OPTION. THEY WILL EITHER CONTINUE TO ASK, WITH COSTS RISING, OR WILL HAVE TO CUT FUNDING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
Do you really want to tell your kids and grandkids, that you would rather them have substandard education and be unprepared for life in the real world because you voted no to fix the roof over their heads?
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