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Letter to the editor: Thanking 'yes' voters

I want to thank the 1,520 voters that showed their support in our recent Perham School levy vote. I am quite sure that they didn't vote "yes" because they would like to pay more taxes. Rather, I think they realized that strong schools are at the heart of a progressive community.

It is no secret that state funding has not kept up with inflation since 2003. It is no secret that our government must change how funding is done. We need an equitable, sustainable and sufficient statewide system of funding. But, until that happens, what do we do here in Perham? We will need to continue making more and more cuts in our budget.

Before last Tuesday, 90 percent of Minnesota school districts had a local levy in place. Last Tuesday, 90 school districts were asking for either an extension of an existing levy or for a new levy, and 79 percent of those districts said "yes."

Sadly, Perham was not one of them, for the fourth year in a row. What do people in these districts "get" that the voters in and around Perham don't?

Those of you who voted "no" have all kinds of reasons or excuses. But I hope you will not think that your "work" is done, now that you have defeated the levy. I hope that you will step up and help the Perham School Board by attending meetings over the next several months and giving your input on what cuts should take place.

I also challenge you to get into our three buildings and volunteer. We need all the help we can get, and volunteering is a wonderful way for you to get in the "trenches" and see what the day-to-day challenges are in our schools.

I can almost guarantee that if you start spending time in our schools and connect with our kids, they will melt your heart and your pocketbook, and the next time there is a vote, you won't hesitate to say "Yes!"

Kathy Cavanagh