Letters Maintain quality ed

To the editor:

It is depressing to hear that seven teachers will disappear from the classrooms in the Vermillion School District next fall because of a massive funding deficit.

This community has repeatedly rejected opportunities to increase local funding to the schools, compensating for a lack of funding from the state government. This funding would not have been used to add computers, add faculty members or add academic or extracurricular programs.

The money would have been used to MAINTAIN the high standard of education the Vermillion School District has established.

Instead, students are now dealing with depreciated academic programs, larger class sizes and fewer extracurricular activities. That does not seem fair. Why do the citizens of this district choose to deprive students of a full education?

I started kindergarten at Mark Twain Elementary School in Sioux Falls in a class of 39 students. We stuck together for almost a month before the school district found a full-time substitute so we could have two classes of 19 and 20 students. What a difference that made. One teacher could not have monitored each student's individual learning ability and preparation to move on into first grade. Two had a better shot of giving us the individual attention we needed.

Extra-curricular activities are a vital part of the educational experience. They offer a breadth of development that cannot be achieved within the walls of a classroom. I was privileged enough to be a member of a varsity athletic team as well as a nationally recognized show choir. Vermillion offers those opportunities. Preserve them.

The school board was not open enough with the public before the election, either. Why did they not tell voters what cuts would be made if the funding was not made available? Why was this vote kept within the insides of the paper?

Why couldn't more than 17 percent of eligible voters (a total of 1,482 people) be convinced to care enough to head to the polls?

Overall education quality needs to become a priority. Currently, 1,298 students are enrolled in this school district. They deserve the best education that the staff and facilities in this school district can give them.

When is the community going to come behind the school to help find the funding to maintain the superior programs we have developed and to give those kids the education they are entitled to?

Catherine Odson

2003 VHS Graduate

The right decision

To the editor:

You have asked for feedback from your readers concerning House Bill 1191, which would have, in its original form, banned all forms of abortion in the state of South Dakota,�essentially forcing victims of rape or incest, many of whom are under the age of consent, to carry a baby to full term.�

The sponsor of this bill wants the state of South Dakota to challenge Roe vs. Wade.

Now I believe that abortion is the wrong choice for a woman, and yet, in a controversial ruling 31 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortions would be legalized.

When we choose to challenge Roe vs. Wade, where will we find the revenue (acknowledged to be about $1 million) to fight what could very well be a losing battle?

Will we take money away from the state education fund or the Medicare fund, or shall we raise taxes to fund this fight?

I think that state Sen. Reedy and our Rep. Nessulhuf made the right decision for the people of South Dakota, based on the current budget deficit and what Gov. Rounds and his colleagues had proposed.


John Skilbred


Student asks for support

To the editor:

My name is Kimber Koelling. I grew up in Okoboji, IA and am currently achieving my master's degree at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. On Sunday, June 6, I will run in the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA.

I am going to run the San Diego Marathon in honor of Thomas, a gentleman that lives in South Dakota who was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in June 2003. He received chemotherapy and went into remission.

As a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program, I am also committed to raising $3,500 for the society by May 1.

Please support this cause:

Send a tax-deductible check payable to "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society" to the following address:

Kimber Koelling

530 Elm Street #79

Vermillion, SD 57069

Suggested donations: $1 per mile = $26.20; $2 per mile = $56.40.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Kimber Koelling


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