Letter: Vote ‘Yes’ for kids

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, Nov. 5, will be an important day for the future of Austin Public Schools.

On that day, district voters will be asked to go to the polls to approve a 10-year referendum to provide much-needed revenue for the daily operation of our schools. This ballot initiative is unique in several ways.

First, it replaces the current referendum that has served Austin schools well during the past decade. Second, 60 percent of the referendum dollars come, not from local taxpayers, but from the legislature in St. Paul. And, finally, if the Nov. 5 vote is successful, local property taxes will decrease for every Austin area household, which is welcomed news for any taxpayer.

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The Nov. 5 referendum vote is special in another way, as well. This year, no national, state, county, city elections or special initiatives are on the ballot. This makes it extremely vital that voters, especially those who value children and their future, get out and vote. Keeping class sizes manageable, essential programs intact, and teachers in the classroom are a few of the ingredients that help ensure a quality education for all of our students. An approved referendum would keep Austin moving forward to meet the needs of our young people in an ever-changing, competitive world.

Many Americans complain that, in our current political environment, “My vote doesn’t count,” or that “My voice isn’t heard.” On Nov. 5, a “Yes” vote will count; and your voice will be heard because you will be supporting Austin’s students and programs, and you’ll get to keep some of those hard-earned dollars in your pocket for you and your family. We know both of those ideas are important to our households.

So, join us in celebrating the successes of Austin Public Schools by supporting the referendum ballot initiative. Please vote “Yes for Kids” on Nov. 5.


Marsha and Don Leathers,