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Your Letter: Urging a yes vote on questions 1 and 2

On Nov. 3, residents of the Wadena Deer Creek School District will vote on a levy referendum. This levy would replace the old levy due to expire next year. Rural school districts in Minnesota are under severe financial constraints due to a combination of declining enrollment, reduced funding, and state and federal mandates that we must abide by. We are rapidly approaching the situation where existing revenue streams will not be able to cover both basic student services and mandates such as the new No Child Left Behind testing requirements.

Some area residents are frustrated that we spend money on many of these programs. I share many of these frustrations. Unfortunately, if the state or federal government mandates a particular program, we have no choice but to spend money on it. If the school district is short of revenue, other areas of the budget have to be slashed and this will include core curriculum and services that benefit all our students. In the last three years, we have cut more than $2 million from the budget. We are truly between a rock and a hard place.

Personally I wish we had more local control over both the funding and programming of our local schools. If we are to retain even some semblance of local control over our schools, we need to pass this levy referendum. I urge you to vote yes on both questions 1 and 2 on Nov. 3.

Michael Craig