There’s been a lot of information bandied about regarding the upcoming referendum for District 208. One side is saying that we haven’t shared the pain and we should wait one more year before passing the referendum.

The district has waited 11 years since an education referendum was put forth. The way the state deals with education funding is that schools really need to go out for referendum every five years. In addition, the administration has cut approximately $1.5 million over the last couple of years, in some cases we’re using 12-year-old textbooks and teachers are not being overpaid based on comparable market rates.

The pain that is left to be felt will be felt the most by our students, who will not receive the same quality of education and experience that we have worked so hard over the last 10 years to achieve.

Others say that there are more cuts that could be made before asking the taxpayers to help out. The problem is that these cuts are so severe that they will have a definite impact on our kids and our community.

These cuts include losing 24 teachers and staff, cutting core classes such as math and science, not to mention the many clubs, activities and athletic programs that enrich the lives of not only the kids, but the community. The administration decided that these cuts are so far reaching that it is an issue for the community to decide.

We have to ask ourselves, “Is this what we want? Do we want to go backward and take away what we have worked so hard to build for our kids?”

We have to weigh our options – an average of $1.15 a day (based on $300,000 home) versus a school that won’t be able to provide as high of a quality experience and one that may make people want to leave rather than come to our community.

The bottom line is we have to decide how important it is to us to maintain the quality of our schools and put the future of our children first. I am very proud of our school and how it has enriched, not only the lives of my children, but our community. Please vote yes for the referendum and keep our community strong.

Pam Powers