The facts and figures are hard to ignore. The District 88 budget has been stretched and strained, whittled and slashed, to the point where educational quality is in jeopardy.
District 88 is seeking local voters' permission to levy an an extra $575 per pupil unit in property taxes over the next ten years. The levy would bring in an additional $1.28 million per year, and would help the district avoid another round of cuts next year that would cram more students into already-full classrooms, and force the elimination of more programs.
The district could hope that the Legislature will come up with some more money for education, but that well is dry. If anyone is going to step up and keep this school district strong, it will have to be the people in the community.
There are plenty of good reasons for people in the community to invest in the local schools. First, it serves the best interests of our children. They need to have a vibrant, challenging, stimulating educational experience. They need to be properly prepared for the future. Our parents sacrificed to give us a good education, now it is up to us to provide one for our children.
Second, it benefits the community. Good schools are attractive to businesses and people they want to hire to come and work in New Ulm. Good schools also produce students who go on to become good employees and good citizens.
Finally, it is our responsibility. This is what communities do. We work together and provide for the needs of all, not just our own needs.
We urge people to check out the information on the District website, attend the Oct. 29 information session if you have questions, and support the District referendum on Nov. 6.