To The Herald-Whig:
At his State of the City address, Mayor Kyle Moore stated that the city of Quincy is at a crossroads, "where there are consequences for inaction."
I believe Quincy Public Schools also stands at a crossroads, where inaction could negatively impact our community.
Over the last several years, QPS has made significant strides in stabilizing its board, hiring an outstanding superintendent and improving the school buildings for nearly every student in this district. However, there is more work to be done. The education fund tax rate, the district's general fund that directly impacts students and teachers, has not risen in over 30 years. The taxpayers of this school district have an opportunity to make a statement that education is a priority in this community.
If we want people to stay in Quincy, live in Quincy and send their kids to Quincy schools, we need to offer a top-rate education. We can't offer that when our education funding rate ranks 49 of 49 of all the large-unit schools districts in Illinois.
As someone who has invested countless hours volunteering to help fund our schools as part of the QPS Foundation, and many more hours working alongside our students and teachers as a parent volunteer, I can assure you that an additional investment in this district will make an impact. We have a fiscally responsible board and superintendent that will use these dollars to improve teacher retention and recruitment efforts, two areas that currently are a struggle for our district, and make other educational investments as they have outlined to the community.
Being a part of a business that builds homes and owns real estate in this community, I understand the impact of higher property taxes. I don't like higher taxes either. However, I refuse to sit silently and miss an opportunity to speak up for the future generations of this community who deserve the same high-quality education that I received or my children received in Quincy, and for the educators and future educators that commit their lives to investing in our kids.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." I hope others in this community will speak and act to benefit all of our community!
Please vote YES for an increase in the education fund rate for Quincy Public Schools. Thank you!
Timothy D. Koontz