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posted: 3/9/2013 5:00 AM

Millburn 'yes' vote crucial to future

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A critical vote will be taking place this spring that affects nearly 3,000 families in the Lake Villa, Lindenhurst and Wadsworth communities. The Millburn District 24 school board voted unanimously to place a levy referendum question on the April 9 ballot asking taxpayers for additional support for the education of Millburn students. As parents, teachers, community members, business leaders and taxpayers, we all have a stake in this because Millburn matters for our kids and our community.

District 24 has seen significant loss of revenue the past several years because of reductions in state funding and the poor economic environment. Significant measures have been taken to address the district's finances over the last four years -- reducing staff, increasing class sizes and streamlining operating expenses -- resulting in $3.3 million in cost savings. Without the passage of the referendum, however, the district will see further reductions. These cuts would include eliminating many of the programs that make our schools and students strong; offerings such as library instruction, technology instruction, art, music programs, and physical education.

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We realize now is a difficult time to ask homeowners for a property tax increase. While local taxpayers will see an increase of approximately $114 per $100,000 home value (or $9.50/month), a deteriorating education system would eventually cost many of us significantly more in lost property values. For parents of young children, it will be the cost of supplementing your child's education and or increasing day care when the school day is shortened.

Please support the referendum, the district, and the community. Excellent schools make attractive neighborhoods. This referendum is an investment in our community, and Millburn matters to all of us.

Deborah Pineau

Citizens for Millburn District 24.

Lindenhurst

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