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Board sets February referendum date

Editorial: Voters face key school votes

Today may be a low-key election day compared to last year -- after all, there was a race for U.S. president and what turned out to be a seemingly interminable U.S. senator showdown in Minnesota -- but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot at stake around our region.

Take, for instance, the three school districts that will ask voters to approve new operating levy referendums. The Adrian, Edgerton and Southwest Star Concept districts are each presenting referendums that would result in significant differences from those currently in place.

In Adrian, a proposed $1,250 per-pupil operating levy, if passed, would replace a $450.92 per-pupil levy -- the new figure more than doubles the old. Edgerton voters, meanwhile, will confront a proposed $1,200 per-pupil levy, which would replace its existing $613.54 per-pupil figure. And SSC is asking for a $2,087.23 per-pupil levy (the current corresponding figure is $1,087.23).

Referendums like these, unfortunately, tend to put voters between -- pardon the use of a familiar adage -- a rock and a hard place. It's probable that many voters within these districts, particularly seniors, will find the new levy figures financially challenging. But then, should any of the new levies not be supported, a district's future is placed in further peril. And, as a school goes, so often does a community.

We hope voters turn out in droves to the polls today. We are also hopeful for state funding changes that help school districts with their bottom lines.