Support the education of our youth

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Dear Editor:

By now, residents should have received their ballots for the local school election. I would urge everyone to study the candidates for the school board and vote. This is an extremely important election that will have a longlasting effect on how our school district looks in the future. Also on the ballot are levies for both the elementary and high school districts. A recent Letter to the Editor urged voters to vote no on the levies and I felt compelled to respond.

Throughout the 2020-21 school year I have been extremely frustrated with the choices the district has made and how they have navigated the school year under Covid restrictions. I have not been quiet about my frustration – I’ve taken up plenty of our school board and administrator’s time sharing my concerns. At times I have felt that those concerns have fallen on deaf ears. I will admit that my first reaction when I heard that levies were going to be on the ballot was, “I’ll show them, I’ll vote no.” However, after some soul searching, I realized that me voting no wasn’t going to hurt the school board members or even the administration, but it would have a dramatic negative effect on the people, that after this year, we can afford to hurt the least, our students.

Levies help school districts pay for their everyday operating expenses, books, curriculum and staff. They ensure that students have the supplies they need to support their education, keep class sizes small and help our district recruit and maintain high quality educators. I’ve heard talk about the Covid relief money the district has received and how it should more than cover the amount that the levies are requesting. This is not possible. Covid relief dollars came with several stipulations on how they could be spent. Our district is not able to spend the money they received as they see fit but must follow the federal guidelines. Simply put, we can’t buy science and math textbooks or pay teachers with Covid relief dollars.

It’s been a long and at times frustrating year for everyone, but I have hope that as a community we can come together to support the education of our youth when they need us most. Please join me in voting YES in support of the levies!

Sarah Thorson

Glendive