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Time for some middle ground in Lynd

September 1, 2011
Marshall Independent

The crusade for a new school in Lynd came to a crashing halt Tuesday when voters in the school district voted down building a proposed $11.5 million school. The vote wasn't close - 83 percent said "no" - and the sheer number of voters who were against building a new school tells a story of small-town residents just not ready to commit thousands of tax dollars per year to a new school. Who can blame them? Today's economy notwithstanding, residents of Minnesota are already shuddering at the thought of the vanishing homestead tax credit and Lynd residents, had the vote gone through, would've been hit with a double-whammy of taxes.

But that doesn't mean these voters are anti-school. They are - at least they'd better be - proud of the school in Lynd. It's a progressive school, an aggressive one, too, when it comes to competing for grants to improve technology in the classroom, and technology is as important in a classroom today as a chalkboard was 40 years ago. The students who attend Lynd School are well-served by a strong group of teachers and administrators, and this school, its teachers, and its current and future students deserve the best.

But the best, as we all know, comes at a cost, and in this case - a brand new school - just wasn't a realistic option. So it's on to Plan B, and given the age of the school that plan is all about improvements and renovations - not because school officials want it, but because they need it. The voters won't have a choice when it comes to a comprehensive upgrade to the school, but when the time comes to help pay the bill to bring the school up to code they should accept it, knowing that it will keep the school open for future generations. Yes, Plan B has a hefty price tag, but it's not nearly as expensive as the plan voted down Tuesday. There's sure to be a tax increase in the future, but compared to what taxpayers in Lynd would've been faced with had a new school been approved, it's a small price to pay.



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