Letter to the editor ran in the Breeze Courier on 2/7/17:

Dear Editor

I am writing regarding the Taylorville Schools Referendum which will appear on the ballot on April 4, 2017. I am writing to ask that the voters in the Taylorville School District Vote Yes on the Taylorville Schools Referendum.

I attended the informational meeting held at the VFW last week where over 300 residents came to get information about the referendum from parents, business owners, and concerned citizens. The support at the meeting was tremendous, but we need every voter to support the referendum.

Those that attended the meeting learned facts such as that despite the size of our school district, Taylorville Schools has not had an increase in local tax support since 1978. They also learned that even if we increase the support to Taylorville schools, we will still pay less than nearly every surrounding district!

Other alarming information that was laid out had to deal with the already devastating cuts that TCUSD #3 has had to make in the last several years. Taylorville schools have already cut 29% of its staff and building overhead over the last ten years or so. This means that there will be nowhere else to cut except programs and curriculum, which will have a direct negative impact on our students.

The next cuts will be teachers like me, who do not teach core curriculum mandated by the State. We will also be forced to cut all extra-curricular activities. I know the impact extra-curricular activities had on my life and what an impact having the right teacher at the right time had on me. Today, I am a coach. I love my job. I care very much for the young people that I am so fortunate to interact with on a daily basis. And nothing humbles me more when I have former student athletes come back to me and say “Coach if it wasn’t for your influence, I would never have: 1) made it through bootcamp or Marine Force Recon selection, 2) gotten a job with the Texas State Police Border Patrol 3) Made it through West Point 4) and my personal favorite – GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Those are just a few examples and I could go on. But truth be told it’s more than that. The fact is that every program, club, vocational trade, etc MATTERS. The beautiful thing about a broad and diverse curriculum is that it gives every student the opportunity to be inspired and find their passion in the world. So instead of everyone falling into the trap of pitting programs and educational opportunities against one another, we need to take a forward looking approach and value and understand the positive effect that a broad and diverse curriculum can offer our young people and help their success in the future.

Besides being an educator and coach, I am also MOST IMPORTANTLY, a father. I for one, want my children to have the power and opportunity of choice in their educational experience. I want them to be inspired and conquer the world in whatever their heart tells them to. But that will only happen if I make certain they are given the educational experience that they deserve. Just as I want these things for my own children, I want the very same things for all students in our community and school district. I want future students not to just have state mandated courses, but have a fulfilling and enriching opportunity at Taylorville schools.

Please join me in voting Yes to support our kids and our community. Vote Yes on April 4th on the Taylorville Schools Referendum.

Sincerely,

Lee Mateer

Taylorville High School

Strength Training

Behind The Wheel

Head Wrestling Coach

Asst. Football Coach

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