Tricounty News

We all lost

We were deeply saddened to learn that the School District Operating Levy referendum did not pass on Nov. 3. To us, it sends a clear message that our community no longer values education, at least not as much as it did in years past.

We have always been proud of our three kids who we put through the Kimball School system from the '70s to the '90s. Although the school saw some rough patches over the years, the community always rallied behind our kids and made the right choices by supporting education; not only financially, but by attending school activities and games. When our kids played sports in the '80s, there was an excitement about Kimball. Duane and I went to all the games. I was looking forward to going to watch my grandchildren. I was looking forward to being a part of their youth and only hoping Duane would make it that long to see his grandchildren play. If my grandchildren aren't getting the same education as they are in the schools next to us with more money, why would I want them to stay here? We love Kimball, but we love our grandchildren more.

For everyone who voted "no," I don't think you really believe that the Kimball School District could become extinct. With open enrollment, parents have a choice where they send their children. Kimball is already losing kids to other districts. When a student leaves for another district, their state funding goes with them. So, not only is Kimball's local funding lower than surrounding districts to begin with, the school is now no longer getting funding for the students that left. If Kimball's School District is dissolved and if funding doesn't increase soon, that seems like a distinct possibility. Not only will you be stuck in a district that pays a higher levy rate, you will still be on the hook for Kimball's liabilities.

They didn't even ask for that much - just approximately $10 per month on your taxes, and that is on a home valued at more than $200,000. I am willing to pay a slight increase to my taxes, so my grandchildren can receive the same education as other kids in our area. We've always had a school in Kimball, but now we have to compete with other schools for our kids. Why would people move into Kimball if we have a poor school? We sit on the corner of Highway 15 and 55. What do Eden Valley/Watkins and Annandale have - other than people willing to support their schools and their students? People in our district should pull together, save our schools, save our town, because, if we don't, we all pay much more. In the end, we all have lost! Thank you.

Duane and Jelda Becker