Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Where do you want to go to school? With the Kimball School District asking the members of District 739 to support a 2010 operating levy, this question has triggered many conversations in our household and has taken me back to a time when I was asked this question by my mom and dad.
Growing up between Kimball and Watkins gave my family a unique opportunity to choose where we wanted to attend school and when asked by our parents where we wanted to go to school, the answer was a no brainer, Kimball. Why? For me it was because I wanted to play Kimball football.
Back in the 1980s Kimball football was what put this community on the map. People on the street would ask, "So, where are you from?" When you would tell them Kimball, their response would usually be, "The Kimball Cubs right? They sure have a heck of a football team".
There was a sense of pride within the community because of the success on the football field; it carried over into all other school-related activities and brought the community together. Come fall, on Friday nights, that is where this community was focused, the local high school watching the game.
The schools in any small town across America are the focal point of that community and Kimball is no different. That is why it was very disheartening when my wife and I attended the Levy Public Information Meeting Monday Oct. 19. Expecting a big turnout, we were shocked to see 15 to 20 people in attendance for this meeting. The low attendance kind of caused some concern for us about how the community is maybe looking at this operating levy referendum.
For what we thought was a less than expected turnout, the superintendent and school board did a great job of explaining why they are making this request to the tax payers. They were very informational and enlightened us on why past cuts had to be made, where they made them and how these difficult decisions are affecting the school district and community today. We were also informed that if this levy does not pass they will be looking at additional cuts. The cuts need to stop. Let's take a step forward in supporting this levy instead of taking another step back.
One of the highlights we took with us from the meeting is that our district is not the only local district proposing an operating levy referendum. Every neighboring district to Kimball already has and will also be seeking new operating or building bond referendums this fall.
This was very interesting in that the perception we had of the Kimball School District and a perception I think many have is that we are the only school district asking for an operating levy to keep things moving. Obviously, this is not the case, look at our neighboring school districts and what they are asking from their tax payers.
What we can't put our fingers on exactly is why our school district is asking for such a small amount compared to neighboring districts. Or maybe the more pressing question is, in these tough economic times, how can neighboring districts ask for so much more and expect to get it? What is the difference between our school district and the others?
Is it as simple as winning a few football games to get everyone fired up and have that community spirit renewed? This is our school system in our community. It's time to show our community pride and our school spirit.
When you meet someone on the street and they ask you where you're from and you tell them Kimball, how do you want them to respond? Vote "Yes" Nov 3.
Pat and Leslie Arnold