As of Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The Mountain View School District 244 has requested a levy increase of about $400,000 over last year. My purpose in writing is to explain my understanding of the reason for this request, and then ask that voters approve it.
The “Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS) was enacted by Congress in October 2000 to stabilize payments to rural counties and help compensate them for lost revenues due to the proximity of federally-managed, non-taxable lands in these counties. SRS payments reached over 700 rural counties and 4,400 schools located near national forests throughout the country. In 2015 rural Idaho counties received a total of about $22 million. SRS has been reauthorized several times, and its expected approval in 2017 was supported by Senators Crapo and Risch plus 78 of their congressional colleagues. Despite warnings that lapsing this federal obligation would create dramatic and unfair budgetary shortfalls for rural school districts, these payments were not included in the president’s budget proposals. The bottom line is that one million dollars a year in SRS funding is gone from the $13 million MVSD annual budget.
In my view, the administration and the school board have a logical and supportable three-year plan for a soft landing while other income streams are pursued. In each of the next three years the levy will remain the same as the 2018-2019 request. See sd244.org/levy and vote yes March 13!