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Jerelyn Peterson letter: LP-A 'no' vote is for fiscal responsibility

Since the taxpayers of the Lake Park-Audubon School District are for the third time in 18 months being asked to fund the building of a new school, there are a number of factors that should be considered:...

Since the taxpayers of the Lake Park-Audubon School District are for the third time in 18 months being asked to fund the building of a new school, there are a number of factors that should be considered:

  • When the districts voted to consolidate, there was talk of repairs, not of new building projects. The LP-A board and administration have apparently been negligent in the maintenance of an addition that is less than 20 years old. Both schools have good parts from which to repair and build.
  • A new high school will not necessarily allow for more offerings -- academic or extra-curricular. There will still be students from LP-A choosing to open-enroll elsewhere for other options. The idea of "build it and they will come" may turn into "don't move there because of high taxes."
  • The cost of the bond issue is close to $40,000 per student, among the highest in the state. This for a school that offers little beyond minimal requirements.
  • For many taxpayers, the additional tax burden may well force the sale of their properties. Many of these same taxpayers have been paying for the new additions to both schools during the past three decades as well as the operation of the schools.
  • The taxpayers have told the board "no" two times, only to have the board turn right around the second time with basically the same proposal. When does no mean no? Is this the way the board and superintendent choose to raise children? Ask enough and no will become yes?
  • A no vote is not anti-education, but rather pro-fiscal responsibility. We don't have to look very far to find schools -- Frazee-Vergas, Detroit Lakes and Perham -- that have built new facilities but still must cut staff and programs as well as request an operating levy for day-to-day expenses.

Let's not make the same mistake! -- Jerelyn Peterson, Lake Park

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