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Let education be priority, not sports complex

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

The Dixon School Board has decided that the residents of Dixon are not taxed enough already and have placed a referendum on the ballot to permanently increase sales taxes by 15 percent to fund a $15 million sports complex.

Woody Lenox, the only school board member who voted against funding the sports complex at the Aug. 29 board meeting, said: “We’re a school district. We’re educating our students, and I think that’s the priority.”

Has anyone looked at the district’s test scores lately?

Dixon’s eighth-grade students have been below the state average in both reading and math for 5 straight years. The high school’s ACT scores have been below the state average in math for 5 straight years. Dixon Public Schools (DPS) is failing miserably at its priority of educating students.

While test scores have fallen and residents have suffered through a terrible recession, DPS’s fund balances have increased for 8 straight years (ISBE, 2004-2011 Financial Profiles). DPS added $1.7 million to its fund balances during the 2011 school year.

The school board has so much money that it voted to give away $1 million worth of revenue by allowing the extension of the downtown TIF district.

Aren’t you overtaxed enough by a school district that seems more concerned with accumulating and giving away your tax dollars, than it is about educating your children?

I can think of more than 53 million reasons to vote no.

Note to readers — Mr. Klenz’s letter appeared in Saturday’s edition with his reference to a “15 percent” sales tax increase changed to a “1 percentage point” increase. Both are accurate.

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