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A choice for Willmar's future

Willmar Public School District voters face a significant choice. The choice offers two very different options for the future: continuing multimillion-dollar budget reductions that negatively impact our community, or stopping further damaging budget reductions for the next few years.

As a 1981 Willmar graduate, I'm thankful for the excellent education that community members and the state provided. The district's tradition of excellence has positively impacted my family members since the 1880s.

The Willmar School District is a major backbone of our community: one of our largest employers, over $2 million annually purchased in goods and services from local businesses, 4,000 students enrolled, hundreds of well attended activities, and significant year-around building usage by the community for recreation, community education and meetings.

The choice we make in this moment will impact every member of the community. The district's broad-based curriculum is critical to the future success of our students, growth of the district and community, and the overall growth of our region. Until funding adjustments are made at the state level, we have to help take care of our local children.

By taking ownership of this generation's education as others did for us, we make an investment that pays dividends for our children and the community. Failure to pass the school board's levy will result in a continued decrease in the quality of our students' education. In addition, a failure in this moment will negatively impact our local economy due to jobs lost and more challenges for local organizations to recruit employees who often ask as their first question, "How is the school system?"

Please choose yes -- for students and our community!

Bob Haines