It's decision time for IRSD voters

As voters in the Indian River School District head to the polls this Tuesday, May 13, to elect representatives for three seats on the school board in Districts 4 and 5, it’s pretty clear that these candidates have the potential to have a tremendous impact on the lives of those in coastal Sussex County.

They not only make the front-page, big-news type of decisions, such as the past few years’ dealings with the district’s religion policies and lawsuits over them, but also some decisions that impact day-to-day life for the district’s taxpayers, such as whether to ask for more money to pay for particular programs or to make difficult cuts in programs and staff during rough economic times.

This week’s edition of the Coastal Point also features a bevy of stories about our local artists – professional, amateur and students – all of whom contribute to this community in ways that are not calculated in dollars and cents but rather in the richness of culture they provide to our daily lives.

Some of these artists have put their works up for auction this weekend, to benefit the district’s schools through the Parent-Teacher Organization. And it’s no accident that it’s the student-artists at the Southern Delaware School for the Arts who are doing so. They’ve demonstrated both the value of this special program through their beautiful work and how much value they themselves find in it by deciding to auction their depictions of the John M. Clayton building in which the school is being housed while its regular home undergoes renovations.

Renovations to school district facilities are just one of the issues that will be dealt with by both taxpayers (in the referendum on May 22) and the school board members they elect this week. They’ll also be considering the value of full-day kindergarten and other programs for the young minds that will one day create art, build cars and consider new ways to generate energy for our society. The decisions we make now will bear an influence on generations to come.

The value of these programs, of these young minds, cannot be overstated. Nor can the importance of voters making informed choices about who will be making major decisions about our children’s futures. Please read our question-and-answer series in this week’s edition and go vote on Tuesday.