GRANGEVILLE — “If it comes down to it, we will have to look at [cutting] extracurriculars,” Mountain View School District 244 board chair Mike Dominguez stated.” As much as it hurts me to say that – I have kids who are very involved in athletics. But we’re here to educate children, not make athletes out of them.”

Dominguez, of Kooskia, spoke to the board at its regular meeting Dec. 18.

“Maintaining programs should be at the forefront of our thoughts,” said superintendent Marcus Scheibe.

Scheibe said an informal survey of MVSD staff members (89) had 59 – of 66 percent — voting to change the levy amount while 30 said to keep it at the same as previous years.

The good news for the district, Scheibe said, is enrollment is up, which means more units for average daily attendance reimbursement.

Scheibe said in previous months he had said to leave the levy at the same amount as the past five years, but is now unsure.

“I do see a need to raise the levy to maintain as well as move forward in a positive manner,” he said.

MVSD 244 has passed a $2,663,246 levy for the past five years. Last year the levy passed with a 52 percent yes margin. In 2016, the levy passed by 50.5 percent, while in 2015, it passed by 58 percent.

Dominguez said the board has been “great stewards, but we’re now short a million dollars,” due to the loss of SRS (Secure Rural Schools) funding.

“I don’t feel we can cut $1 million from the budget,” he said. “I really think we should ask for the money we need.”

Vice chair Lot Smith, Grangeville, commented he was “not sure I’m in agreement.”

“It’s tough, but I’m worried we’re playing with fire,” he said noting the close voting passage at the last election.

The board was set to meet again yesterday, Jan. 16, in Grangeville. The next meeting will be held Feb. 26 at Kooskia.

To contact board members or the superintendent, log onto www.sd244.org and go to the “district” tab and click on “board of trustees.”

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