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Letter to the editor: Community strength contingent on school support

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opinion Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

You will not have a great community without great schools. We live in a wonderful community with terrific schools, but our schools need some help. On Nov. 5, the district will be asking us to support a three-question referendum.

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Question 1 is simply to renew what we have been paying for over the past decade. This is not an increase in our taxes as it maintains funding already committed to our schools.

Question 2 asks for an increase of $337 per student. ISD 833 is currently $700 per student under the cap set by the state. We are in the lower half of all school districts in our metro area. If this question passes, the district will still be in the middle of metro area funding, $363 per student under the state cap. But this is not a good enough reason to say yes, the real reason is to maintain our teacher-student ratios, to fund necessary safety improvements in all of our schools, to make upgrades in our technology capabilities, and to balance our budget without making annual reduction in our programs.

Question 3 is about enrollment growth and the need to purchase land for future needs. Our district is growing and will continue to do so. The district needs space to accommodate student growth.

I had an exceptional opportunity to serve as ISD 833 superintendent of schools from 2005-2009 until my retirement. I take great pride in ISD 833 schools. We have chosen to stay in our community because of the exceptional quality of life. The schools are a major part of the quality. Let’s all help out on Nov. 5 and vote yes, yes, and yes.

Tom Nelson - Woodbury

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