Guest Opinion

Spring brings new life and beauty to Idaho County. It is also the time that the board of trustees at Mountain View School District starts looking at our budget for the next year. Per the state constitution, funding for public schools is supposed to be provided from state tax collections, but they haven’t funded education sufficiently for several years. The state says that the responsibility for the funding balance needs to be picked up by the “local community.” They disguise this evasion of their duty by calling it “local control.” My opinion is that, this is a way the state uses to shift their responsibilities onto the local taxpayers.

Your elected board of trustees has done a good job of using the tax dollars you have entrusted to us in the past. You may remember that last year we asked for a $400,000 increase over past levy amounts. When we received an unexpected payment in our Forest Fund account, we listened to the taxpayers and returned the increase you gave us. This year, we waited to see if additional monies might come in. To date, nothing new has come.

The levy amount constitutes about one-third of our total budget. We are asking for the same amount that was approved by voters last year. If the levy doesn’t pass, that means we will be short over 30 percent of our budget. Think about what it would mean to lose one-third of your household income. If the levy does not pass, it will be devastating to the education of our children and negatively impact our community, as a whole.

This year, decisions made by the board to develop and maintain a sustainable budget for the future have been met with attacks against the board and its members, in an attempt to discredit what we are trying to accomplish – to keep our district fiscally sound. We are committed about being wise stewards with the money the community entrusts to us. I am asking you, as a taxpayer, to once again allow us to have the means to provide a quality education for your children - to prepare them to become good citizens and have the knowledge they need to succeed in life. Mountain View School District, as a whole, is committed to this cause. Please help us, next Tuesday (May 21st) to accomplish this by voting “yes” for the levy. 

Lot Smith, chair, board of trustees, Mountain View School District 244.

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