Vote yes#039; on Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2001

Butler County voters go to the polls Tuesday, May 1, to renew the ad valorem tax for education.Vote yes.'

A yes' vote is a vote for the children n and the future – of Butler County. The referendum, which was defeated in November 2000, would renew the 12-mil tax for education in the county.

The tax, which has to be renewed by the voters every 10 years, provides $1.5 million in local funding for the county school system. State funding of the schools requires that local matching' money. The current approval runs through October 2002.

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The battle to get the vote out for and against the tax has gone beyond political, and we regret that. Dialogue that could stop at the pros and cons of passing the tax has digressed rapidly to name calling and mudslinging.

Mudslinging aside, the issue remains the children – and the parents – who can't afford to pay to send their children to private schools.

Public schools are the backbone of our county's infrastructure, and without them Butler County would be a different place.

Supporters for the tax have been all across the county talking to groups and individuals, and we applaud Allen Stephenson for his leadership role in the matter. He's taken a fair bit of criticism for his efforts – and that comes with the territory n but he has stood tall for what he believes.

Opponents of the tax have mentioned everything except a solution for educating the thousands of students attending public schools in Butler County. Most of them have focused on finger pointing and backward-thinking name-calling. There has been a valid point or two raised by opponents, but nothing that justifies punishing innocent children by voting to close the county's public schools.

Those who had unanswered questions when they voted in November have had five months to get the questions answered. We understand – and agree with – the call for better accountability for taxpayer money, but it will be tough to account for anything without money to operate our schools.

Vote yes' on Tuesday.