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Patch Facebook Fans Get Heated Over Referendum 'Failure'

After Patch broke the news on the referendum being declined Tuesday night, readers and Facebookers write their feelings.

Richfield Patch Facebook followers opened up about their thoughts on the social media site shortly after the results were in Tuesday night—.

"What a shame for the kids of Richfield Pubic Schools," Dan Jegtvig wrote.

"Very disappointed in my community tonight," Carrie Renneke Palmersheim wrote.

"So disappointing," Kirsten Shaheen wrote.

Lisa Schwab even mentioned she may think about going to a new district:

"[This] might be the end of Richfield public schools for this family," she wrote. "Isn't worth it to have my childrens education suffer."

While Jason Gabbert said he "didn't have a dog in the fight" Tuesday night, he felt the levy didn't pass simply because times are tough.

"It didn't fail because people don't care about the kids, it failed because times are tight for a lot of people and the ones who don't have kids in the system just didn't feel like surrendering that money."

However, Gabbert's reasoning didn't sit well with others involved in the discussion:

"We all know why it failed," Jegtvig responded. "The point is that it is the kids who lose."

"The district has been fiscally responsible making cuts everywhere they could," Nancy Anton Knutson wrote. "Now it will be more teachers and programs."

As of midnight, the discussion boasted nearly 30 comments and counting. Join the Facebook discussion here.

Kevin Maleck November 09, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Nicely said Eric. I agree that $120 or $130 a year does mean a lot to some familes but if we're not careful, just the perception that our classes are crowded or that our schools don't have enough money or support can affect people's decisions. In your case, you already live here and there is a vested interest in being a part of the community's schools. Being a part of the schools where they live makes families feel more a part of the community. The kids go to school with the neighbor kids and all get to know each other. Imagine a family looking to purchase a home. It would be a shame to cost ourselves in home value to save $10 a month. No one likes paying taxes but in this case, for a homeowner, it is a bit of an investment in addition to being the right thing to do. We just need to ensure the district spends it wisely. There are plenty of forums for that. STEM is a great school with great teachers and Joey Page is an outstanding principal. Stick with it. We (Richfield CQC, our family and friends) will work to help educate voters about school budgets and dispel some misunderstanding so voters can make more informed choices. They may still vote no, but it won't be because they are working from incorrect information. I have lived in Richfield for 40 some years and graduated from Richfield Schools. I believe the community cares.
j bender November 09, 2011 at 10:56 PM
I know the schools have a lot to do with property values, but our property taxes are already higher than most. We're higher than Bloomington,Edina, Eden Prairie, Mtka, St Louis Park,Plymouth,Brooklyn Park, New Hope and Maple Grove...I don't have anything against the kids and certainly want to help them to read, but as a citizen I'm not convinced we're spending the ever increasing school revenues as cautiously as a homeowner has to manage their budget. I'm also dissappointed in Superintendent Bob Slotterback's prediction high school class sizes will be in the 40's without the levy. So that means by not increasing our average property taxes by a mere $120/year high school class sizes will go from under 30 to over 40. There may be a worst case scenario where this might happen, but it sounds more like scare tactics to me than reality.
Kevin Maleck November 09, 2011 at 11:34 PM
I get that taxes are a bummer. Heck, I'm a Republican - I'm supposed to hate taxes, and I DO. You are also right that too often, our tax money is spent poorly. It can be infuriating. That is particularly the case when it's fed or state money. There is less accountability. If Richfield citizens are giving the schools money, we are more likely to ensure it is being spent wisely. I prefer to pay my hard earned money locally where I can see it in action. I see first (and second) hand many of the gory details of school finance. My wife Christine has been on the district's Fiscal Planning Advisory Committee (FPAC) for four years. We discuss school finances and how they spend money regularly. I see the budgets in all their glorious detail. I am on the Technology Advisory Committee and that is a completely separate and separately funded (and miniscule, I might add) budget. We get down to details as small as individual software licensing and computer programs. It is an exercise in wishing you had more money, I assure you. The Superintendant's Parent Advisory Committee is another great source of information. The district is running a very tight ship. Most board meetings are open and I bet you can get a seat at the FPAC meetings if you call the district office. They would be very informative. I haven't checked the full calculations for taxes in those cities but it would be nice to have a higher proportion of high dollar homes to help stufff the coffers like they do.
Andy November 10, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Maybe if the teachers and administrators would take a pay freeze or even a pay cut like everyone else in this country has had to, then maybe some of there coworkers could keep their jobs. Something to consider.
Doug Olson November 10, 2011 at 03:35 AM
I too am very disappointed in last night's no vote for the referendum. Unfortunately, I think too many people are only worrying about themselves and not the future of our kids, our community, and our country. We need to give our kids the tools to be able to compete in a global marketplace. I was very fortunate to be in public school at a time when you had every opportunity for any activity, for any class, for any sport. Now as we continue to cut our childrens artistic and cultural opportunities, we can add fewer teachers to educate our children to the short sightedness of the voters. I was also disappointed to see at 7:30 last night, at my local precinct, that only 280 people had bothered to show up and vote. If people wanted the referendum to pass and didn't vote, they are also part of the problem.

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