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Referendum will booster education

Sports, theater, art, music, clubs, Woodbury High School seems to have it all. But notice that one thing is excluded from the list, education.

We have booster clubs for all sports, all theater productions, yet we don't have an academic booster club. Sure, all extracurricular activities are essential to a quality high school experience, but school, ultimately, is about education.

How much does our community value a good education? Woodbury High School takes pride in its seven National Merit semi-finalists. Woodbury High School is among the top 17 high schools in the state for 11th grade math MCAs in 2003 (combination of both scores and level of math).

Woodbury High School is built on a strong foundation of challenging courses, dedicated teachers, and motivated students. We, the students, are proud of the education we receive at our school. We value our electives. We value our advanced courses. We value the exceptional education we deserve.

This year's referendum focuses on education. District 833 is currently facing a budget deficit of approximately $5 million for the 2004-05 school year. The referendum's primary goal is to raise $2.9 million (the maximum amount allowed by state law) from the community.

If the referendum does not pass, many negative repercussions will result. There will be an increase in class size by one student. That may not seem like much, but realistically, that means there are going to be classes pushing over 40 students.

All ninth-grade athletics and activities will be eliminated. All swimming pools will be closed, except for one in the north area of the district and one in the south. There will also be a reduction in the Reading Recovery Program.

Kindergarten will be converted to an all day/every day schedule. Reductions in gifted and talented programs and special education will also take place. As if all that wasn't enough, another $1 million cut must take place in either further increases of the class size or other reductions.

A large majority of Woodbury High School students move on to higher education. Our high school education is our base for success in the future. Here, we are exposed to a variety of subjects to expand our minds. Here, we are challenged to strive for excellence and to step outside the box.

Here, we learn to grow. We are the leaders of the future. We are the future doctors, lawyers, and teachers. We are your future. Invest in your future by investing in us.

Liu is the Woodbury High School Student Council president, and can be reached at