We didn't need a school referendum to know that there's a lot of frustration in our public life. But reading on-line comments and the website of the most vocal opponents of the District 97 tax proposal, one sees how this frustration ratchets downward.
At the website for "CAOP" (on the page titled "Veritas"), the argument is made that there's lots of private language instruction available. And that learning Mandarin Chinese would be more beneficial than learning Spanish. Say what? Grade school Spanish in Oak Park is so valuable. It helps kids with English language development, it increases the likelihood that they'll end up with fluency in Spanish, and it expands cultural horizons.
Online one finds references to things that the schools cannot control: the state income tax increase, housing prices and foreclosures. There's resentment towards teachers. None of this helps educate our children.
Our neighborhood schools embody what Oak Park says it wants to be. They're diverse, and they inculcate excellence and inquisitiveness. Please vote yes for the proposal on April 5.