Tuesday, March 06, 2012


When the alarm went off this morning, I let out a big sigh. It's Election Day. Our community has had March 6th on the tip of its tongue for months, since we heard that they were going to try for another levy on this day. You may remember that the one in November failed. This one is requesting less money, only 5 years instead of permanent, and lots of things have happened since November. Unions have made concessions. Two schools will be closed in the fall. And there is a huge laundry list of programs that are all cut as of this fall. If the levy passes, there is also a list of which ones will be restored next January (about half). You can guess all the programming cuts: bussing, sports, extracurriculars, art, music, reading intervention, gifted and talented, college prep, etc. The magnet school program, which is lottery selected for grades 1-5, is cut, no lottery for next year's first graders. We had considered that program for next year, but now we will remain in our home school. (Which, by the way, I have complete peace about, since they made that announcement. One year at a time, but for first grade, we'll forge ahead).

It's been a heated debate, and I'm exhausted of it. Let's just vote and get on with it. No one knows whether it will pass or fail. Sixty-one percent voted against it in November. But I am not exaggerating when I say that I got down on my knees this morning and prayed that it would pass. I know that I am a worrywart by nature, and I can be overly dramatic at times. But I am very very concerned about what another failed levy would do for the schools and the whole community. I NEVER thought I would consider moving again. I love this community and intend to be a lifer. But we will not stay here and ride the downfall of the district. (Okay, that statement is a little dramatic).

I even wrote a letter that I intended to send to the local paper (they post letters every week, and 90% of them have been levy-related for months). But Brian talked me out of sending it. (Well, he didn't fully talk me out of it. But I was going to send it, and then he said some things, and so I didn't.)

Katy has also been aware of the debate this time around. When we drive around, she counts YES and NO signs. "Six yes's, four no's, Mom!" This morning, David said "Mom, it isn't fair that Katy has money to give to the schools. I don't HAVE any money." I quickly explained that only grown-ups are being asked to give money to the schools. (And maybe I should give him a couple of dollars for his birthday?)

And again, I also feel badly because there is no easy answer. I know some people are really hurting financially or are on fixed incomes and they really can't make it work. I wish there were a way to have decent schools without causing people financial pain. But we have to do the best with the system we have. And strong communities have strong schools - you cannot separate the two. And it costs money to have strong schools, and therefore a strong community. What should we do? It's a million dollar question (quite literally).


Pam said...

My fingers are crossed BIG TIME that the levy passes this time Emily. Maybe it was the wake-up call that everyone needed. I agree with you - strong schools affect the whole community, house process etc. They must support their local schools!

Pam said...

*prices* Maybe I should go back to school hey :-)