Volunteers Persuading Referendum Voters Door to Door

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For Belvidere school teacher Jim Ryan, going door to door in the cold on a Saturday morning is a no-brainer for a simple reason.

"To provide the best opportunity for students in our district not only academically, but athletically in all aspects of the school environment," Ryan said.

Ryan and 200 other teachers and residents swarmed Belvidere to mobilize “yes” voters to the polls and answer questions to voters who are undecided or leaning “no.”

Belvidere's School Board has two plans on the April ballot. The first is a $62 million bond that would build a second high school and modernize the current high school, and the second is a 35-cent levy to staff and operate a new high school.

"It gives a lot more opportunities for kids; a more updated school, a lot more room for growth n the future," Ryan said.

While they explained the positives a “yes” vote would bring to a growing district already 500 over capacity, volunteers also fear the negatives if both proposals don't pass.

"There are going to be a lot more crowded classrooms. They are going to have some portable classrooms brought in to prevent this growing environment," Ryan said.

"It's my understanding that the schools are going to be tremendously overcrowded, and the high schools are already on a split shift, and it's only going to get worse," parent Mary Lightfoot said.

It’s a worst case scenario these volunteers hope won't be the final result once the referendum ballots are tallied.