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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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home : opinions : letters to the editor September 30, 2014

1/29/2013 7:30:00 AM
Save SAGE to ensure our future

To the editor:

During the 1996-1997 school year the state of Wisconsin established the SAGE program. This acronym stands for: Student Achievement Guarantee in Education. This program ensures, statewide, that our elementary students, specifically kindergarten through third grade in Rhinelander, are keeping pace with national standards and expectations in education.

Optimal to the success and growth of each student, as determined by this program, is an 18:1 student to instructor ratio. Consider for yourself the detrimental effect a 30:1 ratio will have on the future of our children that are to be educated in the School District of Rhinelander.

Furthermore, imagine our children traveling statewide for education, travel, or sports and finding themselves fundamentally behind their peers academically. Imagine how this will impact their quality of life and the potential opportunities which they may miss as a result of our decisions today.

This is the decision we are facing. A "yes" vote on the Feb. 19 referendum ensures the resources lacking from state assistance will make up for the financial shortfall to maintain this program.

Please carefully consider the detailed points below and the long-term effects on the growth of our children and the resulting strength of our community. This educational foundation impacts the fabric of our local community by attracting businesses, families, and visitors to a community well-regarded for its preparation of young minds on par with the best state standards.

Without SAGE, our community is turning its back to researched and established criterion that have been documented and determined as vital to our students' successes. This includes meeting the needs of individual students, greater technology instruction, better communication with families, and a quieter, safer environment for learning.

However, a "yes" vote allocates the resources for our community's young minds that we would want for ourselves and certainly want for our own children. Together we can continue to protect and foster the growth of our unique and vibrant Northwoods lifestyle from its foundation, which is the youth of today and the families of tomorrow.

For stronger families, brighter children, and their chance with an optimal learning environment, vote "yes" on Feb. 19.

Caroline Boettcher, Rhinelander





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