Letter to the Editor: In support of mill levy override

Dear Editor:
I am going to vote for 3A on this year’s ballot. It is definitely not because I think it is a perfect solution, but because I think that if we don’t fund our schools right now we will have much bigger issues to face and much higher costs in the future.

On first glance at 3A, we see higher taxes to fund schools that are not perfect.
On second glance, we see stronger schools, which lead to a better community.
The funding issue at the state level may take years to sort out. Meanwhile, our schools need money right now, bottom line, and our kids are missing out.
Why don’t we just raise school fees? Likely, if school fees were raised, then a lot of kids would be excluded and we still wouldn’t have enough teachers or an enriching environment in our schools.
This has implications for all of our kids—ours and mine. Even if you homeschool or you are retired, your quality of life is affected by how well our schools take care of the rest of the kids out there.
Desperate kids do desperate things, and for many the schools are a safety net. Who is to say if an art class or a school counselor will keep a Meeker child from being bullied, committing suicide or having an unwanted pregnancy? Who is to say if a technology class or an industrial arts class or a teacher who is not overwhelmed with too many students will keep a Meeker child out of jail?
Yes, our taxes would go up if the oil and gas companies were to leave. On the other hand, they could go down or stay the same if they don’t. A crystal ball would be quite handy right now and no one has proposed a better short-term solution.
Please don’t forget, we can also vote to reduce the mill levy in the future. Nothing is set in stone. It would be a wonderful problem to have if all of our schools ended up with plenty of money, saving us upwards of $100,000 per prisoner per year by keeping more kids out of jail.
That would add up in a hurry, not to mention positive impacts to society and money to spend elsewhere!
Public schools are supposed to give all children equal opportunity to a good education. I think it is our responsibility to make sure this happens.
We can choose what kind of community we want to have with one vote.
Ann Franklin
Meeker