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|04-02-03: Students will work for levy passage
|By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
They can't vote because they're too young, so more than 100 Celina High
School students will go directly to the community armed with rakes, brooms, muscle and
information to promote support for the two school levies up for vote on May 6.
Work for Support could be a boon to homeowners wanting some extra
muscle for spring cleaning or yard work at no cost. The students will work after school on
Mondays and Tuesdays and all day Sunday for the opportunity to pass along information in
support of the upcoming levies.
Board of education members informed the community at the January
meeting of future budget cuts that would eliminate all athletic and extracurricular
activities as well as many teaching positions and advanced classes if both the renewal of
a 6.8-mill operating levy and a replacement of the 0.75 percent income tax are not
approved by voters in May.
Board president Cindy Piper said at that time the "May outcome
will absolutely determine athletics and extracurricular activities for next year."
Passing levies in August or next November will be too late, Piper said.
Students are worried about their futures if voters say no.
"I think some people aren't aware of what will really happen if
the levies don't pass. If we can talk to people while we're at their home doing work,
maybe they'll vote yes," Tricia Vanderhorst, a Celina junior, told The Daily Standard
Tuesday morning at the school in an interview that included fellow student Sean Boley.
"Most people in this area enjoy watching high school sports. If
both levies don't pass, there will just be nothing," said Boley, who participates in
football, baseball, student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes among others.
He agreed with Vanderhorst when she said she doesn't understand why
people would vote against the school.
"If it's because of higher taxes, they might not realize that if
the state steps in (to operate the school system), they'll have to pay taxes anyway. Why
wouldn't they want to keep what we already have," she wondered aloud.
Head football coach Mike Fell said he sees everyday how serious
students are about wanting to help with the levies.
"The Work for Support was their idea and was organized through
student council and their adviser (Wendy Mitchell-Payne).
"The students will be supervised and are willing to do any odd
jobs around the house," Fell said, stressing again there is no charge for the
"All we ask for is support on May 6," he said.
In addition to the Work for Support, students are organizing a parade
and bonfire on May 4 and the sale of T-shirts that read "I support Celina City
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