The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 21, 2013

Don't ignore candidates' viewpoints


DANVILLE — Danville’s District 118 schools continue to face financial pressure as state officials ignore previous agreements and cut funding and property values decrease.

Most, if not all, of the area school districts in Illinois, must deal with similar problems.

So next month’s school board elections will be critical in deciding the future path of local schools.

With that in mind, Danville High students and others put together a candidate forum for Tuesday night. The nine candidates running for the four seats on the ballot — a majority of the District 118 board — showed up and answered questions for 90 minutes. However, only about 30 spectators showed up to listen.

Education will play an even larger role in the community’s success in the years ahead. A strong school system, staffed with qualified professionals, can serve as a drawing card for economic development, just as available land, good infrastructure and easy access to utilities can.

Good schools ensure a steady stream of qualified job applicants for existing businesses and industries.

Good schools help build community leaders for the future.

So it would seem that making sure District 118 schools stay strong would be a priority for voters within the district. Yet only 30 or so showed up to hear what the candidates had to say about the issues.

Informed voters make good choices. Take the time between now and April’s election to find out what the candidates think. The schools — and the community — will be better for it.