The Limiting Rate Proposal and its Effect on Education

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Ava Palo, Staff Writer

Flyers sent home last month by the District painted a grim future for Warren students. The colorful infographic contained threats of cutting beloved fine arts programs, firing teachers, and removing valuable services that Warren provides. So how did we end up here? The Board of Education voted on January 12th, 2021 to put a limiting rate proposal on the consolidated election ballot this April. Their proposal involves an increase in limiting rate property taxes by 35 cents. Essentially, for every $100,000 of a home’s market value, the homeowner would pay an additional $10 a month in property taxes. Warren hasn’t passed a limiting rate proposal since 2001. With two campuses to maintain and the same number of staff, Warren faces a difficult financial road ahead. Keeping the high quality education available for the upcoming classes will prove difficult if this proposal does not pass. Sure, this may not affect the classes of 2021 and 2022 terribly, but the future high school students are in danger of missing out.

One of the first consequences of a potential failure to pass this referendum is the loss of a period. Right now, Warren operates on an eight period a day schedule. The Warren curriculum decides 6 of those 8 periods for students: math, English, social science, science, lunch, physical education. Throw in graduation requirements such as economics, two years of foreign language and government, and students aren’t left with much space left on their schedule. Not to mention that band and choir students already lose a period of their day due to their passion. Sure, students can decide which exact class to take (i.e. regular, honors, or A.P.), but the loss of one period in the day will eliminate the opportunity for students to explore their future. Warren offers a variety of electives from Woodworking to Intro to Coding. Without the eighth period, students will miss out on exploring different career fields and taking a class that they actually want to take.

Warren’s quality of education is also threatened by budget issues. Fifty one teaching positions have been eliminated in the past five years due to budget cuts. That means fifty one families have lost a source of income and been afflicted with anxiety over the next life step. If the referendum doesn’t pass, the District estimates it will need to cut forty six more positions over three years. It may be cliche, but Warren is a thriving community. Our teachers are so incredibly passionate about educating their students and contributing to their future. These educators deserved to be paid properly for their important work to the improvement of society.

The limited rate proposal is up for vote on April 6th. Online registration to vote is now closed, but voters can still register in-person the day of. Find out more information about the election here