School budget time is upon us. Maybe youre going to vote no because this is the only tax you have a vote in. Let me ask you this. If you were a witness to a child in trouble, would you step in to help? Our children are in trouble. State funding to schools has been slashed for the fourth year. Teachers and programs have been cut, are being cut, and without a school tax increase will be cut further, jeopardizing our childrens education.
Even if you dont have kids in the district, wouldnt you rather pay more in school taxes now than in welfare and unemployment down the road as our graduates are unprepared for life? And this generation will grow up to pay your Social Security and Medicare, but only if they have jobs.
Maybe you feel you pay enough in taxes already? School taxes stay 100 percent local, preserving local jobs and educating local kids. You cant say that about federal or state taxes. Maybe you feel you pay more than your fair share in school taxes? Taxes are proportionate to the value of your property. Bigger, more expensive house equals more taxes. Be proud of what you have and that you are able to give back more to your community.
If you dont like one particular item in the school budget, dont vote it down because of that. Show up to your school board meetings and let your voice be heard. Keep your school viable and then work on making changes.
Remember that the school board is no happier about this than you are. Ive seen the dejection on their faces as theyve stared at the proposed teacher, staff and program cuts and tax increases. They are members of your community, presenting a budget that they feel is a livable option in a situation of horrible school funding. Any school that has money in savings is using that to minimize a tax increase.
Some schools, like General Brown, have spent all their money in the last three years of budget cuts and have nothing left. Schools are aware of the impact taxes have on the community. But because the state keeps holding back money year after year, there is no good alternative but to ask the community to step in to help. Do the right thing. Vote yes to your school budget on May 21. Invest in the future.
Sandy Young Klindt