Citizens of Monroe,

I am asking the citizens of Monroe and patrons of the Monroe School District to please support the upcoming Replacement of Expiring School Program and Operations levy on the February 2018 ballot. Why? Because our students are our future and supporting them is the right thing to do. Please let me share a few important reasons why I support the levy.

Health & Safety. Our top priority is the health of our students and to ensure all of our schools are a safe learning environment. This requires local funding for things such as School Resource Officers, nursing staff, safety equipment, safety and emergency preparedness training, student safety programs and more.

Athletics. We have an incredible athletics program in Monroe and if you have not yet attended one of our sporting events, I highly encourage you to do so! Last year was a record year for athletic scholarships at Monroe High School and we already have an athlete this year who has signed on to play basketball for Princeton next year. Athletics open many doors for our students and teaches lifelong skills that students may not gain in classrooms.

Operations. The levy is essential for district operations and maintenance. While the passage of the 2015 Bond (thank you voters!) allowed us to move forward with many major maintenance and capital projects, bond dollars are only for buildings. The passage of this levy impacts learning. Levies are for learning and bonds are for buildings! Our district must continue to upkeep, maintain and repair 10 schools, several support buildings, landscaping, sidewalks, parking lots, and athletic complexes.

Extracurricular activities. Clubs and extracurricular activities are important in developing well-rounded students and are crucial in helping students develop social skills, create a sense of belonging, and add to students’ skillsets outside of the classroom. Almost 1,000 students participated in clubs or extracurricular activities last year at Monroe High School alone. That doesn’t include sports! Over 20 clubs and activities are available for our students to be a part of. Be sure to check out the spring drama performance of, “Guys and Dolls.” Our levy dollars make up the majority of the funding source for all clubs and extracurricular activities.

Bridging the gap. The district, by state statute, only gets dollars by two methods: 1) federal and state funding and 2) taxes collected when our citizens support the educational needs of the district. This is why the district must return to the citizens to renew this critical levy. The levy bridges the gap between what the state funds and what our district relies on to open doors and do great things on a daily basis.

And lastly, as I said at the beginning — it is the right thing to do for our community’s children.

I chose to live here in Monroe and run for the School Board. By doing so, I have a responsibility to make education a priority. I want our district to be a reflection of the good people who live and work here and to showcase our amazing community to all who visit. I am proud of our schools and their accomplishments and I want to continue to make our town inviting to businesses and others looking to plant roots here; showing that this is a supportive community who highly values education.

I encourage everyone to have your questions answered with facts. Contact a board member, ask questions of the superintendent, attend a levy presentation, attend a board meeting, and be an informed voter. When you have the facts, you will see that it is clear that you need to vote yes to support the great work that the Monroe School District is doing in support of our students!

Darcy Cheesman,
Monroe School District School Board president