Letters to the Editor

Letter: Vote yes to consolidate Somonauk, Leland school districts

The Somonauk and Leland school districts are proposing consolidating into one unified school district. This concept is up for a vote on June 28, and I urge you to join me in voting ”YES”.

One of the major reasons we decided to plant roots in Somonauk was the small town nature of the area and the highly ranked Somonauk school district. However, while the schools are rated highly, there are definite drawbacks to having our children attend school in a small town.

One of the major drawbacks is the lack of extra-curricular activities afforded to our children. There is no choir in Somonauk, no marching band. There is no football team. There are not many clubs in the district (i.e., Key club, Verterra club, gay/straight alliance, etc.), no show choir, and more.

One of the biggest pluses I see about combining the districts is it will allow our children to open their eyes more to the world around them, as well as allow them to be more involved with extracurriculars they might not have otherwise had the opportunity to be a part of.

In addition to the ability to participate in more activities within the district, I also see hope for additional classes to take place within the district. Being able to offer foreign language at the middle school level, being able to offer more AP classes to those who desire them, and being able to provide more electives for students to choose when they are in middle school and high school.

Combining the districts may very well increase class sizes. While I have relished having my children in smaller classes, I am understanding if class sizes increase. I feel this could also be an opportunity for more employment within the district, by the addition of more paraprofessionals in classes if needed, and draw more teachers to a stronger district as a whole.

With the combining of districts, it is inevitable that property taxes will rise, whether directly related to the consolidation plan or not, after all we do live in Illinois. But what better reasoning for taxes to rise, if at all, than to better be able to support our students? Being able to keep living in small towns while offering our students and educators better opportunities like those in larger towns will not only be a boon for our children, but for people looking to relocate farther west.

While nothing is perfect, I trust the leaders in our communities will not only anticipate road blocks, but plan for them and devise solutions that will best support our children and educators. I hope for all community support, and I pray that others in the community who do not have children in the districts, see the benefit that combining the districts will afford our children, and children yet to come.

I fully support this consolidation plan, and will do everything I can to educate members of the communities why this should be passed via referendum come June.

Rebecca Herlien