Letter to the Editor ran in the Breeze Courier on 02/14/2017:

Dear Editor

I am writing regarding the Taylorville Schools Referendum which will appear on the ballot on April 4, 2017. I am writing because there seems to be a lot of misinformation about how Taylorville Schools are funded.

I have been hearing a lot of voters indicating that we should use the 1% sales tax that is already enacted to fund our schools.

However, the 1% sales tax can only be used for building updates, maintenance and construction. This money cannot be transferred to the General Education Fund to support other critical needs of our schools.

I’m thankful for the improvements to our district buildings that the 1% money has made possible. I remember that before all the buildings were air conditioned, I would get the notice from school while I was at work that my kids would be dismissed early because it was too hot for them to be in the classrooms. I would have to scramble to make arrangements for a ride and day care earlier than usual. Now my kids can focus and learn in a more comfortable classroom and I don’t worry about getting the call that they will be dismissed early.

Therefore we have to find funding for other expenses including salaries and benefits for our teachers, educational materials, special education programs, curriculum electives, clubs, and extra-curricular activities.

The School district has not had an increase in support since 1978. If we do not support the referendum, there will be more teacher layoffs, course reductions due to a lack of educational materials and instructors, as well as increasing class sizes.

Without a quality school, Taylorville will no longer be a great place to live. Our students, businesses, and residents will suffer.

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

Sincerely,

Sara Ellinger

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