Chanda Larson, Sartell
Teaching in a neighboring district, I’ve experienced the stark realities of failed levies: class sizes of 36-40 students, increased special education caseloads, college and AP courses cut, families experiencing difficulties transporting their children to school due to busing cuts and students not able to participate in athletics and activities they love because of increased fees.
As a parent I don’t want this to happen to my kids. However, we are experiencing the effects of a failed levy. Teachers have been let go due to budget cuts, resulting in much larger class sizes than Sartell has ever experienced. Our daughter cannot take AP Chemistry because it was cut. Activity fees have increased $45-$70 – I recently paid an activity fee which increased by $50. Our high schooler plays three sports; her fees increased $165 this school year. These are the real effects of a failed levy.
The proposed levy increases are cheaper than the increased activity fees we’re paying now! The taxes on a $200,000 property will go up $148.60 yearly. This averages to $3/week; equal to four cups of coffee from a coffee chain or two shakes from a health shop monthly.
Sartell’s teachers go above and beyond to support our children, however they won’t be able to do that with increased class sizes. For example, in a class of 36 students, each child can only receive one minute of the teacher’s time in a 50-minute class, with a 10-minute lesson. We need to do better than that for our kids. One minute is not enough! We cannot go down this path!
Our oldest child’s transition to post-secondary was seamless due to the strong, quality education she received in Sartell. The knowledge she gained from her experiences in Sartell gave her an edge in her college courses. Our current students deserve every opportunity to have the same choices and chances to succeed as our previous students had. Vote yes so our students have access to those same quality experiences.