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LETTER: Kids in District 622 need the support offered by an operating levy increase

The rich diversity in School District 622 is one reason we have chosen to have our kids educated in this district. When my oldest son entered kindergarten 10 years ago, students who spoke no English sat next to those who already read at a second-grade level.

Even at the time our district wasn't particularly well funded, but his school accomplished amazing things as it met the needs of a wide array of learners.

However, as $34 million in cuts have been made during the past decade, elementary school class sizes have grown to 36. There has been an increase in the number of students needing special educational assistance at the same time the amount of support for these services has decreased. Libraries are there, but there are no longer librarians. Teachers now have no budgets for classroom materials, and most of the materials they have to work with are significantly outdated. Old technology hasn't been replaced. There have been cuts in custodial and groundskeeping staff, and teachers and administrators are now even responsible for weeding around the schools.

Because of changes like these, it is no longer possible for teachers to effectively meet the needs of students.

It's unsettling to note that if this levy isn't supported, even further cuts will be necessary.

Voting to approve this levy will allow the district to stop the slide and regain some of the financial ground lost during the past 10 years.

Kids in District 622 need our support on Nov. 8!

Lori Peiffer