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January 26, 1998

Opinion

We are all responsible for the education of children

  I am writing this letter because I care about the students in the Riverview School District and the kind of education they get and the environment in which they get their education. I am a senior citizen, not a parent and never have been, but I believe living in a democracy carries some responsibilities for the citizens. One of those responsibilities is helping to ensure that the children in our communities get a fair shake at education so they can proudly take their place in the workforce and be contributing citizens. The parents should not be the only ones who care about the education for the kids. We all should care, because education is a must in our world today and we each have something to contribute.
  
   Some say we are taxed too much. Some say I don't have kids, so I don't care. Others just stand by and observe. Some don't even bother to vote because they don't want to get involved. The negative attitude of the nay-sayers has a tremendous impact on the educational welfare of children in our community. The silent majority must step forward.
  
   So here it is. The maintenance and operation (M&O) levy that has been helping to keep our schools ship-shape expires the end of this year. The levy that will carry the schools through for 1999-2000 amounts to 15 percent of the support for the schools. The state does not and never will support the schools 100 percent because the citizens in each of the different school districts are expected to help make it better for the kids. Also up for vote at the same time is a request for some new buses to replace the buses that are 20 plus years old.
  
   The M&O levy helps with textbooks, teacher assistants, and school upkeep to name a few items, but without school buses to transport the students to school, the schools will be empty. You can imagine the maintenance cost to keep those old, old buses running. And how about trying to get parts that may no longer be made.
  
   The bottom line is the two levies are critical to helping contribute to better schools for our youth. Get involved. You can do that by voting for the Riverview School District levy. Take pride in our community by helping to make it better and become knowledgeable on the issues. I have served on the Tolt Middle School Site Team, several school committees, and the school board. What have you readers done to help lately?
   Patricia A. Hinneburg,
   Carnation