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Area senior citizen urges people to vote yes for school

Vox Pop

As a 92 year old retired person on a fixed income, a taxpayer and property owner, with no children or grandchildren in the area schools, why would I vote “yes” on the school referendum?

As a nearby neighbor of the high school, I am continually impressed with the long hours our teachers are putting in. We need a teaching environment that will attract and keep good teachers. I am so glad that the school has acquired nearby land when it became available so that schedules do not need to be interrupted and money spent for transportation to off campus locations. The addition of the barn and land on which the school barn is located provides not only hands on experience for future farmers, but also for the youth who cannot experience animals or agriculture in town and may become future decision makers in the community.

As a member of the Friends of Downtown, I see a great need for attracting potential business owners and CEOs of local industry to the community. If these persons have school age children, they will look at the quality of our schools. Employees of these businesses may choose to live in town or commute from locations where schools provide the best learning environment for their children.

As the owner of older property, I see the need for funding repairs and changes over time. That is certainly true for a 50-year old school building.

As a life member of the National Science Teachers Association, I continue to get their publications. I am aware of the changing requirements based on National standards and STEM and the need for facilities that can help teachers teach to these standards.

As a former MHS student, I am also personally aware of what happens when equipment is not up to date. When I was in high school during the World War II era, the school had given their good typewriters to the war effort. Learning to type was the equivalent of today’s digital learning. The machine I was assigned had been repaired with a sagging rubber band designed to help a frequently used key return to its starting position. Imagine what that did to my score in speed tests! Current electronic devices and the spaces for them to operate in cannot be repaired with a rubber band by even the most well intentioned instructor.

As a local historian, I have been especially proud of the many outstanding persons who have attended Medford schools and gone on to do state or nationally acclaimed work as inventors, scientists, medical workers, artists photographers, advisors to presidents, writers and other professionals. Hopefully, our school can continue to provide the support for such accomplishments.

As a property owner, I have looked at my tax bill closely. The yearly general increases seem to be comparable to what I might pay in other communities and the specific yearly increases have been about what a “no” voter might pay for some fast food meals or a trip to a lottery location. I prefer to spend that on local school support. I am NOT a wealthy owner of extensive rental or business property and can see that even a small tax increase on a large number of properties would add up. Such investors need to consider what a good school can contribute to the total business climate. It makes good sense to me as a taxpayer to make repairs and additions when interest rates are as low as they are now.

I voted “yes” to the November, 2020, referendum and am doing so again. I encourage you to vote “yes,” as well. — Hildegard Kuse, Medford