Opinion

Editorial: You can pass the school levy

It’s up to each voter in the community to pass the Oak Harbor School District maintenance and operation levy.

Like most school M&O levies, this is an easy decision in which there is no logical argument against it. No fancy new buildings are proposed, no expensive new programs are planned, no big tax increase will result. It’s simply a matter of keeping what we have from disappearing.

If the M&O levy fails, a lot of kids and teachers will be hurt. No more elementary school physical education and art programs, the end of classes in the high school and middle schools to challenge exceptional students and give a helping hand to struggling students, and the end to purchases of essential new learning technology. Even the vital school lunch program, which was started with the levy success of four years ago, could be endangered.

The school board could have asked for more, and indeed was strongly encouraged to ask for more, but wisely decided to ask voters to simply continue with what they are already providing in financial support for maintenance and operation of school programs and facilities. That’s 75 cents per thousand dollar of assessed value, same as the amount requested in 2001. Your tax bill will look about the same if the levy passes.

The biggest threat to the levy is from forgetfulness and apathy, not any organized campaign against the levy. The vast majority of Oak Harbor residents no doubt think the levy is a good idea, and that the schools desperately need the money to continue the important and popular programs that now exist.

The best way to defeat the levy is for well-meaning people to forget about that absentee ballot sitting around your house, or just not care enough to fill it out and send it back in. Approximately 60 percent of voters already have their ballots. Vote yes and send the ballot back, before you forget.

Another way to defeat the levy is to forget to go to the polls Tuesday, March 8, or to think that there’s no reason to, as such a sensible proposal should pass easily without your vote.

For the school levy to succeed, each voter has to accept his or her personal responsibility to vote. If you leave it to others, the levy could fail. Then there would be no one to blame but yourself.

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