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School a tough sell in a small town

August 18, 2011
Marshall Independent

The question on the special election ballot for a proposed new school in Lynd is as follows: "Shall the school board of District No. 415 (Lynd Public School)?be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $11,570,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of a new K-8 facility?"

It's a yes or no question, but it has proven to be anything but a simple one.

Lynd is a small town, a very small town, and should be proud of what the current school offers its youth. The school in Lynd always seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to bringing in the latest technology for its students. In a time of great economic stress for most schools, in Lynd, they've stayed aggressive in their pursuit of top-notch technology throughout the last few years. Indeed, not bad for a small, rural school. It also met tough federal learning guidelines under No Child Left Behind in 2010 - no small feat considering the difficulty many schools have had in making adequate yearly progress standards.

Building a brand-new school in Lynd would appear to be a positive step for the community - it would be for any community - but when the tax burden falls on such a small number of people it's easy to see why homeowners in Lynd, by and large, are so against this expensive plan. The less that tax burden is spread out among a community, the more painful tax increases become, and no matter the economic climate, no one wants to see their taxes go up, especially if they won't reap any personal benefits. Building an $11.5 million school in a city of 30,000 is one thing; building one in a city of fewer than 450 is another.

Many Lynd taxpayers have grown frustrated - they're frustrated about financial and enrollment numbers changing, frustrated about unanswered questions. Some in Lynd say they didn't even know about the upcoming vote, which introduces another layer of issues.

But while voters in Lynd have every right to be concerned about a potential hike in their property taxes, they also need to practice keeping their frustration in check and express their concerns and views in a mature, civilized manner, which some have failed to do. We've heard from numerous people who live and work in the district about racial undertones concerning the Lynd population and the students who attend school there. There is no room for this. These slurs have even been tossed around at public meetings. This has got to stop; it's close-minded and counterproductive at the least, but moreover, it's hurtful.

Our suggestion to Lynd voters: Let your vote do the talking on Aug. 30. If you don't want a new school built, simply answer that ballot question with a "No."



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