We’d like to express our full support for the opt-out currently proposed by the Yankton School Board. Initially we questioned the need for the opt-out, but after further examination, we are in full agreement in support for the proposed action:
• The Yankton School Board and administration have been mindful of the need to explore all options to work within the current tax structure without going to an opt-out, as most other larger school systems have done.
• Yankton has a high number of families that depend on two incomes. Studies indicate that in-town school busing and working in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club has improved attendance, provided healthy meals and improved grades. These services are also very valuable to Yankton businesses due to their employees knowing there is safe, free transportation and a healthy breakfast available to their children during their early uninterrupted work hours.
• Yankton area businesses are supporting and benefitting students through the Internship Program. High school students are learning life skills and future employment in a wide variety of opportunities.
• One Resource Officer covering the high school and middle school is unrealistic. Today’s students live in instant news, instant social media, etc., creating stress and uncertainly. Adding a Resource Officer and a Middle School counselor will enable additional mental health and safety services to the staff and students.
• Offering free preschool to all families is of immense benefit to the children and their future education as well as their parents — especially to those who could not afford it.
• The cost of these services and all the great things that our school system provides is projected to cost the homeowner approximately $93 per $100,000 of property valuation. This is a small cost compared to the services provided and the expenses that would be involved if they weren’t available.
We believe we have an excellent school system and wish to maintain and keep improving the future services and opportunities this opt-out will provide. With no or very limited state aid for the coming year, funding education is critical.
They are currently at the point that they either cut services or ask residents to support the needed funding.
Please vote YES and join us in your support for the future of our students and community.