Letters to the Editor
Vote “for” new high school
Editor, The Sun:
This community has a long tradition of supporting its schools and the children who attend them. As a former teacher, I saw firsthand the generosity of community members who dug in their pockets and bought cookie dough, mulch, and car wash tickets to help buy uniforms, purchase classroom supplies, or, in my case as a cheer coach, send cheerleaders to competitions. You support us when we discipline your children; you help scoop ice cream when we reward them for great test scores. No wonder our students achieve at high levels. Now, on June 26, we will have another opportunity to support our fine schools; this time though, at a higher price than a tub of cookie dough – a 5.5 cent facilities tax.
Why tax? Our district has limited bonding capacity from its recent updates and renovations to four elementary schools. A new middle school opened in 2004. And yet, our high school, a dated 1964 building, sits in need. A tax is our best option. The petition to bring this tax to a vote was certified, allowing each of us a vote to support our schools.
It’s that simple.
Let’s not get distracted by recent, unsupported assertions that our current administration and school board are being misleading about the tax, or that they have not been good stewards of our tax monies. Board meetings are open to the public, and our school district is audited by an outside auditing firm each year. No deception there. No, this idea of our leaders withholding information or being extravagant with our money is false rhetoric aimed to divert us of the issue: our old high school – with its narrow halls, inadequate performing arts spaces, deficient lab facilities, and outdated safety features – needs more than a renovation (a fact agreed upon by both mayors), and we must help.
Most of us have faced similar predicaments – we’d rather not spend the money, but a necessity, such as college tuition or a new home, calls us to. And, because the future gain is worth it, we do. We may grumble and shake our heads, but we do it. Why? Because the reward is worth tightening our wallets.
Just a few days ago, we celebrated graduates of all ages. Let’s give our community another reason to celebrate.
Vote “For” on Tuesday, June 26, for a new Woodford County High School.
Willing “to pay fair share” for new high school
Editor, The Sun:
I just left my 5th Fifth Grade “Graduation” at Simmons Elementary. I love volunteering at Simmons. Today’s celebration was a multi-cultural experience for families from all the various socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds that you see at Simmons. Watching kid after kid get certificates in math, and reading, and social studies, and art just made me proud. It was America at its best. Being there reminded me about our ancestors’ focus on local education as the cornerstone of a community. First, a community sacrificed, and came together to build a primary school. Eventually the manifestation of a progressive, successful community was its high school. Again, America at its best.
Every day I see little people getting off the bus for kindergarten. What about this fall’s kindergarteners? Unless we as a community approve the levy for the new high school, this year’s kindergarteners will graduate from the same high school as this year’s seniors. I had to let that image sink in. The little kindergarteners who enter Simmons this fall will be graduating from the same high school that is already in need of serious repair 13 years from now. Then, another thought crossed my mind. If we do not approve the levy, this year’s senior class will be in their early 30s before a new high school could be built.
We can do better for our kids. I am willing to pay my fair share for the future education of kids whom I probably will never know. That is part of a democratic system. Every generation does everything it can for the next generation. People who are now long dead paid for the “new” high school I attended in the 1960s, and now I get to do the same for a future generation. Vote “FOR” the school levy.