Vote 'yes' to support Southeast Schools' referendum

To the editor:

Dear landowners in the Southeast Dubois School Corporation, I am writing to urge you to vote "YES" for the operating referendum that you will see on your ballots. We need this referendum to pass or we risk losing the schools that our community takes so much pride in. I am a graduate of Forest Park, and my daughters attend Southeast Dubois schools now. I love the small class sizes, the quality of the teachers/staff/administration, the programs, and the extra-curricular activities offered. I know the teachers truly care about their students. They go above and beyond to find innovative ways to teach our kids on a very limited budget.

Our school corporation finds itself in this financial situation due to the lack of state funding in recent years. The state funding formula has reduced the amount of money our corporation gets per student. State government has also allocated more money to charter schools, thus reducing the amount of funding available for public schools. Small rural school corporations, like ours, have suffered because of this. Declining enrollment has also played a role since the money follows the student if they transfer to another school corporation. Please educate yourselves on which candidates support public education. Electing the right candidates could positively impact our schools.

Voting "Yes" for the referendum will help our school corporation retain teachers, continue offering specialized classes such as band, chorus, robotics, art, agriculture, advanced placement and college credit courses. If these types of courses are not offered, our corporation will continue to see declining enrollment because families will send their children to schools that offer these programs. We want to keep our children in our community.

I have always been proud to be a part of Ranger Nation! If the referendum doesn't pass, we risk losing our identity as Rangers since we may be forced to consolidate with another school corporation. Green and gold is all I know, and I'm not ready to give it up! Please vote YES to support the referendum! Our kids and the future of our schools depend on it!

— Tara Hopf

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