Editorial: vote yes to salvage schools
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that the Oshkosh Area School District has excavated itself a roomy grave through years of under-taxing and mismanagement, that our schools are floundering against their wealthier competitors, that the Referendum for Learning is no one’s dream. Yet the Index staff encourages you, dear voters, to cast your ballot in favor of the $3.95 million referendum on April 1. We may have dug our way into this mess, but to lie down and die would be catastrophic for all.
The looming $2.5 million in budget cuts, should the referendum not pass, would not only cripple our educational competitiveness, but throw a major wrench into the hopes and plans of thousands of students. Limiting us to six credits per year will slay the elective classes that add purpose to a student’s day – the music, art, tech, and so many more that can truly touch our souls. Teenagers with eyes on higher education will find their transcripts crippled, and students will leave the district in droves.
Other cuts are equally ruinous. Killing CAPP subsidies for lower-income families betrays the promise of a free and equal public education; combining North and West sports teams slashes athletic prospects to nil; eliminating opportunities for middle and elementary students undermines any hope we may have for the future. If this referendum fails, Oshkosh will continue its slide towards ghost district status.
Fortunately, we will soon have the chance to regain a foothold. We can avoid the devastating $2.5 million of cuts and invest $1.45 million in technology already enjoyed by our modern neighbors. Thriving schools beget a thriving community. Without the Referendum for Learning to bandage the district’s hemorrhaging, we fear that Oshkosh will soon be bled dry.
By: Index staff