Paid Letter to the Editor: Referendum means opportunity

Published 5:53 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

Hello. My name is Tom Compton, and I wanted to share some information regarding Austin Public Schools’ decision to present voters with a proposal to increase the operating levy for school funding. As an Austin resident, a middle school social studies teacher, and president of the Austin Education Association, I know the importance of being well informed, especially when it comes to financial matters.

On Nov. 8, Austin area residents will consider a referendum question proposing an operating levy increase to avoid a $3 million budget deficit. Without this additional revenue, the district will have to make difficult cuts to staff, student services, and programs.

As a teacher, I see firsthand how our dedicated staff and supportive programs help our students succeed. Our district provides a variety of educational opportunities for students of all ages, and this referendum will protect these opportunities.

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If the referendum is not approved, class sizes will increase and program offerings will decrease. If teachers have more students in each classroom, it will be more difficult to provide individual support and attention. Further, students will have fewer options for important programming and activities inside and outside the classroom.

I am proud of the resilience our Packer family has shown in the past few years, and I want to make sure the district can continue offering the widest array of opportunities we can. I encourage everyone to visit to learn more.

Tom Compton

Austin, MN