Editorial: Support United South Central

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 20, 2006

Test results in the classrooms have been high at the United South Central School District even though times have been tough in the administrative offices.

The school board&8217;s decision in September to close the Kiester school next year will result in some voters feeling frustrated and voting against the district&8217;s referendum on Nov. 7.

But that would be a vote of misplaced frustration. We urge them to vote yes.

The United South Central School District asks its residents to pass an operating referendum levy that would replace its current operating referendum of $642.39 per student with one for $1,000 per student.

It&8217;s easy for people to blame the local officials for closing schools and asking to raise taxes. They are visible. That&8217;s exactly what the state politicians want voters to do. And that&8217;s exactly why voters should not blame local officials. It&8217;s not their fault the state has put rural school districts in such a pinch.

On Election Day, USC voters shouldn&8217;t take their frustrations out on the USC referendum. Take the frustrations out on the state level. Cuts to local government aid are akin to property tax hikes. The state needs to learn that when it cuts, it needs to cut where the waste lies &8212; metro programs. Tell state politicians to not cut essential funding that sustains rural communities. Tell state politicians to abide by the state constitution and fund education equally across the state.

USC cannot be accused of financial mismanagement. It&8217;s had to eat away at itself to stay alive, closing Bricelyn and Freeborn sites to climb out of the red.

We, too, wish the Kiester school could have stayed open. So does the school board. Kiester is a great town in which to live.

But on Nov. 7 USC voters must put that matter of the school closing aside and think about what&8217;s best for the education of children.