Letter: Strong schools equal a vibrant community by Matthew and Allie Johnson
This letter is written in support of the upcoming school referendum. It is our belief, as research and studies have shown, that a quality education system has a positive economic impact and is consistently listed as an important factor in quality of life. Quality schools benefit business/employee recruiting, improve real estate values and provide a foundation for the youth of the district. Having been involved with other districts in two different states, we can tell you the Rhinelander district is neither greedy nor excessive in asking for these funds. It is very unfortunate that a flawed state funding formula has again brought the community into this (often negative) debate.
Larger class sizes and the reduction of programs will create unsuitable learning conditions, which will result in students and teachers alike leaving the district. The potential exodus of professionals and young people will directly harm our local economy, making a difficult situation even worse.
We chose to move to the Rhinelander area from Madison four years ago. We made this choice because we wanted to be an active part of a dynamic, close-knit community that honestly cares for the welfare of its inhabitants. Rhinelander’s welcoming nature is unmatched and we quickly became “adopted” Hodags. In no other place have we found the connection, pride and character that we have found here. We truly love living in this region, we are invested in this community’s future and we want to see the area thrive.
We hope that everyone can respect varying opinions and not allow this single issue to define our neighbors, co-workers and friends. However, it is equally important that voters make decisions with a true understanding of what is being asked and what the ramifications will be of a failed referendum. Oneida County residents have much to be thankful for and we are truly blessed to live and work here. A successful referendum will help ensure the vitality of this community.
Matthew and Allie Johnson, Harshaw