One thing about this Anti-Levy stuff is you sometimes need to take a minute and remember why you’re in the fight to begin with. After all, with the mudslinging that goes on, it is easy to let the ideas jumble together. Well, I just received a letter from a very nice couple with kids in the school system that is against this school levy. It is difficult to not feel some compassion for their position, but they captured many of the themes that get completely smashed in a contentious election like the one we have in the Lakota Levy, Issue 2 of 2010.
So I am putting the letter down here to share their words with others on both sides so everyone can remember what is truly at stake. Their names are removed by request, particularly since they have children in the school system and fear retaliation. And it is in such words that I find new ambition to unravel the tangled web that has snared all such good people in the sticky grip of political monstrosity.
Subject: We want to help!
My husband and I have been Liberty Township residents for 15 years. We have two children attending Lakota Schools; one is a freshman, one is in the 6th grade. Our small family of four survives, (in Liberty Township mind you! The “I have everything” capital of the world) on little more than the “Starting” salary of a Lakota teacher.
We read the teachers salaries last night. I pride myself in being a very articulate person, however, I find myself strangely unable to find words that adequately express how that information makes us feel. Knowing they are taking away from our children, but protecting those salaries.
You couldn’t be more correct in saying this levy isn’t needed for the children. If ANY of this was about the children, they wouldn’t be making the cuts they are making. They would be asking the teachers to revise their compensation packages. Every single cut will take something away from the children. Every one of them. Even when they cut the teaching staff, they are taking away from the children! But the teachers will continue to receive pay raises through it all?!?! It simply doesn’t make sense. We love Lakota and we believe the teachers deserve a decent wage, but it’s crunch time. If the very people who ARE Lakota won’t protect Lakota, how can they ask us to? Is there not even one teacher with a conscience?
I don’t believe I have EVER been so outraged. What I do believe is that if more Lakota residents knew about these salaries, to say NOTHING of their benefits or their pensions, the levy would crash and burn.
I’m sorry, but we have no money. We don’t have any extra. We don’t really have what we need to pay our bills right now. There is no more to give to any one. Not to the levy. Not even to your group. But we do want to help. Please tell us what we can do. We have arms and legs and phones and voices. Please tell us what we can do. We truly want to help.
I put a budget idea here. It’s not a painless plan, but one that I think helps the most people. But one way or the other, something must be done at the local level to help those living in the district, so they can support the school with more than money.