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Letter to the editor: Three ‘yes’ votes are what’s best for community

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As a member of the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, we meet regularly with ISD 833 staff to review the school district’s finances and budgets. You can find the facts and figures at: www.sowashco.k12.mn.us.

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This is why you should vote YES on all three ISD 833 referenda questions.

The charts showing District 833 as one of the most conservatively run are true. The district doesn’t borrow money, and the operating referendum funds collected in taxes are less than most other districts in the metro area. This is why the school budget has been cut every year and why operating reserves will hit zero if voters don’t do the following.

First, vote yes on Question 1 which renews expiring operating levies. This will maintain existing funding levels. But these levels are not enough to sustain existing programs. Many more budget cuts will be required, unless you vote yes on Question 2 as well.

Our student population is growing and the need for additional school buildings is inevitable. Question 3 asks for money to enable ISD 833 to shop for the best location and deal, and act before the opportunity is lost.

Finally a word about why maintaining high quality education is important to all residents in our district. We must fund our schools to assure our children can compete successfully in a very competitive world. But many residents don’t have children in our schools. Does that make quality of schools less important? No! Our property values are directly related to the demand for housing in our cities. And strong demand for local housing largely depends upon the quality of our schools.

The best interests of all residents in the district are served with yes votes on all three ISD 833 school district questions.

Don Place

member, ISD 833 Citizens Financial Advisory Committee

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