Let me add my voice in support of the two referenda for District 97. In terms of a tax increase, it's more like one since the second referendum is more or less an extension of bond payments we are already making. But it is critical that we support the operations referendum.
In the 1990s, I served as the Fine Arts Division head for OPRF High School. I also had taught speech and television production and coached the speech and debate teams. In these capacities and as a parent in this community, I place a tremendous value on our arts programs in our schools. The arts, whether visual, musical or theatrical, have a lasting impact on the kind of people our children become. I speak not only of the participants but also of those in the various audiences. A huge piece of our children's lives will be missing should the arts face cuts in D97.
Any of you who attended the fabulous, wonderful, entertaining and amazing OPRF production of Mary Poppins should realize that these students did not have their talents suddenly spring forth and nurtured when they arrived at the high school. They were taught, encouraged and coached while in elementary school.
Yes, we will see an increase in our tax bills. However, how many of us would say we moved to, and remained in, our community because it's an inexpensive place to live?
A quality education does cost money, but the development of our children is absolutely worth it.
I urge you to support the District 97 referenda.