The best school districts challenge and create opportunities for their students.

Good teachers, relevant curriculum offerings, functional and safe buildings, engaged students and parental involvement are all part of a successful program.

Residents in the Madison Consolidated Schools district face a school referendum vote on May 6 that will impact the quality of education for many years to come - whether it passes or fails.

We urge a "yes" vote on the $40 million building referendum being put before the voters.

Of course, everyone wants the best for our children ... and there are different opinions on how to achieve academic excellence.

The Madison Courier's decision to support the referendum came after hours of discussions with those in favor of and those opposed to the referendum.

We received honest, sincere and well-reasoned responses to our questions.

The difference of opinion - for most - came down to the size of the project and impact on taxes that property owners will face.

Will an increase in taxes be a hardship for some? Yes.

Still, we believe the return on investment makes the school project deserving of support.

Madison and Jefferson County need to grow. We now have the benefit of a new bridge that better links our county to the rest of the nation. We have a new hospital that will serve those same young people and their children in future years.

Quality schools create a trifecta of reasons to like Madison and Jefferson County's future.

Leadership in the Madison schools is strong and we have every reason to believe that growth will go far beyond bricks and mortar.

Children are the future of this community. Good schools attract the best teachers ... Good schools attract families ... Good schools attract prospective employers ... Good schools contribute to our quality of life.

The referendum might be the biggest issue our community is going to face in the next decade.

Each of us must figure out what we can financially absorb. Do the math and make a decision if that's how you want your money spent.

There is no easy answer, but we must get it right.

We think a "yes" vote is the right vote.