School board urges yes on YAAL

The Ashland School Board is committed to providing a well-rounded program of academics, activities, athletics, and arts for all our students. We know students involved in activities beyond the school day are more connected to their school and perform better academically. Sharing this commitment, the community has voted since 1994 to provide additional funding to ensure that our students have quality athletic and activity programs from which to choose. The Youth Activities and Academics Levy (YAAL) will help the district continue to support these programs, just as the Youth Activities Levy has done in the past.

In Ashland we have a history of excellence in our schools because of our great staff, motivated students, and supportive community. The November 6th YAAL election gives Ashland voters an opportunity to continue the support that keeps our schools strong.

The Youth Activities and Academics Levy (YAAL) campaign is in full swing, and the community conversation is helping to clarify important issues. The Ashland School Board is listening intently. We believe that a quality education requires excellent academic classes as well as excellent extra- and co-curricular activities. We also believe in an open, fair budget process.

Unfortunately, the level of state funding for education is never certain. This fact, combined with the impact of annual shifts in enrollment figures, may force the Board to make cuts in the future. If this is necessary, the Board is committed to an equitable process that will apply the necessary cuts fairly across all programs. Our community developed priorities, embodied in the Strategic Plan, will aid the district in budget decisions. In this way, the Board can ensure that we will continue to offer high quality programs for both academics and activities.

The Board will work with school district administrators and the Budget Committee to decide how the revenues from this levy should be spent. Budget committee meetings are open to the public. We encourage citizens to attend, become informed about the process, and give comments on budget priorities. Our first Budget Committee meeting is Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Ashland School District Office. At this meeting, we will begin the process of setting budget priorities for the 2008-09 school year.

Your support of the YAAL is vital to our effort. This Nov. 6, please join us in voting yes for Measure 15-80, the Youth Activities and Academics Levy.

The Ashland School District Board of Directors

Mat Marr, Chair

Ruth Alexander, Vice-Chair

Heidi Parker, Amy Patton

Keith Massie

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