Letter: Supporting the levy the ‘right thing to do’

Residents in the Stillwater area will be asked to vote for renewing and increasing the school’s current levy Nov. 5. Saying “yes” and valuing the children in this community are the right things to do.

There are other “personal” reasons to support the levy. Home values are directly tied to the state of local schools. If you are looking to sell your home or interested in maintaining the value of your real estate, you will benefit from a school district that performs well. Schools have a large impact on home values. Plus families moving to the area and buying homes want to know above all else that there are quality schools in the neighborhood.

But more importantly, a strong and vibrant community supports its schools. The children are the future. Voting “yes” is the right thing to do.

When students and families are not valued, they will leave. I’ve already heard from some parents that if the levy does not pass they will either move or enroll their children in another school district.

If the levy doesn’t pass, the school week will be reduced to only four days! Other activities like band, orchestra clubs and athletics will have to be reduced.

GPA is only one line on a college application — the rest is based mostly on activities within and outside the school. By cutting these programs to save money, we are doing these students a disservice, one with consequences that won’t be seen fully for years down the road. Plus for many kids, it’s these activities that motivate them to do well and stay out of trouble.

What will the kids do with their time, if they can’t afford to be in sports or music, their clubs are gone and they are only in school for four days a week? Communities in different parts of the country have reportedly seen a connection between increased crime rates, substance abuse and teen pregnancy after their school levies failed.

Eliminating $11 million dollars from next year’s budget is not the answer. The children in our community deserve better. We need to invest in the future and invest in our children by supporting the schools — because it is the right thing to do.

Angela Heart
Lakeland

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