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Support for District 196 levy

To the editor,

District 196 has a tax levy vote on the November ballot. If this levy does not pass, District 196 will cut $30 million over the next two academic years and our schools, students and community will pay the price.

Why pass this tax levy? First and foremost, District 196 has excellent schools and it is best for all in our community, the young and the old, that we keep it that way. The education our young people receive in District 196 gives them the tools they need to lead fulfilling and productive lives, to become contributors to society, and to compete in the local, national, and global economy.

Our entire community benefits from the excellent education our students receive in District 196, even for households without school aged children. Good schools help the community by building a stronger and better-educated labor force, attracting talented, able, and educated people, attracting high quality employers, decreasing crime, dropout rates, and delinquency, and increasing property values.

If this levy does not pass, District 196 will need to cut $10 million for 2014-15, and $20 million for 2015-16. It already cut $34 million, including over 100 teachers, in the last four years. Additional wholesale cuts will negatively impact our students’ schooling and educational experiences.

What happens if the new tax levy does not pass on Nov. 5, 2013? Class sizes will increase, fifth grade band and some middle school athletics will disappear, fees will increase for academics, arts, and athletics, student support staff and gifted and talented funding will decrease, and more cuts will be made. District 196 has cut enough in the past four years.

What are the tax implications of this proposed levy? For the average house in the school district, valued at $225,000, the property taxes will increase by $56 next year due to the levy. I am certainly willing to pay the additional taxes to support our schools. I hope you are, too.

Please vote to pass the new school levy tax for District 196 on Nov. 5, 2013.

Donna Gibbons,

Apple Valley