Letter: Schools sustain communities by Cheryl Esslinger
This is taken from an excerpt of the Pasadena, California Education Association:
“Education matters to our entire community-to all of us, whether or not we have children or grandchildren in the public schools. Good public schools build a stronger, better educated workforce, help attract the talented, able people we need to run our businesses, our educational and cultural institutions and our many non-profits, help attract and retain high quality, environmentally friendly employers offering good, well-paying jobs, reduce school dropouts, delinquency, crime, incarcerations and welfare costs, increase property values, support the local economy and enhance the quality of life for all of us-for the entire community.”
Vote “yes” for the Rhinelander School referendum Feb. 19, for your community, for our community. Our school district cannot keep making cuts without taking away the heart of what our school district does, educating our young people. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to what is happening because of a broken formula in state funding for our schools. Until all schools in this state are funded equally, the same money for a student in a big city school in the southern portion of the state as a school in a small town that serves the northern part of the state, we will have to take up the slack. I urge you as a taxpayer and property holder, as a grandmother of a student who has had all of her education in her almost 11 years of life in Rhinelander public schools, as a mother of a student who graduated from our school district and as a teacher who cares that my students have the same opportunities as those students in other districts, to vote “yes.”
We cannot afford to let our education standards fall below those of our southern neighbors. How many businesses will relocate here if our educational system falls behind? How many manufacturing plants will stay and how many additional companies will move here? How many jobs in our community will be lost if laid off teachers move away? How will it affect other businesses when more than a third of our teachers leave the area to find work? How can we retain good doctors in our community hospitals and clinics if our educational system falls behind?
I urge you to sustain our community by voting “yes” on the Rhinelander school referendum Feb. 19.
Cheryl L. Esslinger, Rhinelander