Letter: Invest money in the school district by Jeremy Monk
Even we conservatives understand that sometimes it makes sense to spend money. If the roof on our house is leaking, we will typically spend a sizeable amount of money to get it fixed because we need shelter. If we don’t fix the leak, it is only a matter of time until the house is destroyed by the elements. In the same way, our community needs to have quality schools, and we should vote for the upcoming referendum to invest some of our money in our school district because we have no choice. As a matter of doing what is right by the kids in our community and a common sense vision for economic growth, we need quality schools. A school district gutted of its electives, advanced placement courses and support for struggling students is really not the kind of school that a growing community must have.
If the Feb. 19 referendum does not pass, not only will it be that much more difficult to attract new businesses and professionals to our area, but we will see many families move their students to neighboring school districts and make our funding plight even worse. In addition, we will have a much more difficult time attracting quality teachers and administrators. Our current staff will be worked harder and more difficult to retain. It will likely be only a matter of time before our schools will decline. This will likely also have an overall negative economic impact on Rhinelander. Therefore, we must pass this referendum.
In addition to this, our local representatives for the state house and senate need to go to Madison and fight to change the school funding formula. Most of us who raise our children here do not live in the heavily taxed lake homes that our school funding is based upon. In fact our school district probably has a higher than average poverty rate. Consequently, the funding formula for our schools in the North is simply unjust and needs to be changed. In fact, one of the best ways that our local representatives could work to alleviate our tax burden is by taking the lead to change the school funding formula and hopefully reduce the need for these referendums.
Vote yes for the referendum on Feb. 19 because we absolutely need a quality school district, and ask your government representatives to do something for us in Madison.
Jeremy Monk, Rhinelander