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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Levy vote saved schools

Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at 3:12 PM

We have often been proud of this community for the way it has responded in times of crisis and need, but we have never been prouder than last Thursday.

In a depressed economy, many families are struggling to make ends meet, praying for better days to come. But Thursday, an overwhelming number of citizens stepped up to the plate and agreed to an additional tax to save the schools -- and the future of our children.

By a 3-1 margin, in a turnout that greatly exceeded the primary election only two days before, voters agreed to the temporary supplemental levy that would allow the schools to continue basic operations, including providing the extracurricular activities that are such a huge part of the high school experience.

The school budget will still be tight. There will still be cuts that have to be made to balance the books. For the school district, the work has really just begun. There won't be new textbooks and there won't be new computers. But there will be football and volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, softball and band, choir, speech and debate competitions, just to name of few of the extracurricular programs saved.

Those programs are vital to helping create well-rounded citizens of the future. They keep kids involved in school, and nearly two out of every three students at the high school take part in one or more of those programs.

Every citizen who voted "yes" in the election deserves a round of applause and a pat on the back. You saw the need, and even if it was hard to say "yes," you did so. You showed you cared.

Perhaps the greatest praise, however, should go to the graduating seniors at the high school, and other students there, who worked so hard to encourage voters. Not since the political activism of the youth of the 1960s have we seen a group of young people become so involved in politics. It taught them a wonderful lesson -- no matter how cynical we may be at times about the operations of our democracy, ultimate power and the promise of the future resides in the ballot box.

We have saved our local schools, at least for this year. The real test will come over the next year. The crisis was created by the legislature. It won't go away until the legislature "screws its courage to the sticky spot" as Shakespeare said, and decides that education funding is as important as our local voters believe it is. So the next step is to ride them until they restore funding to adequate levels -- and make up some of the difference in what they cost districts around the state this year. Don't let them make any excuses.


Comments
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Wow I thought the levy was to pay salaries and not just to keep the after school events going. And if the students truly cared about the community as a whole, then they could have voted in the primary election as well. Instead IMHO, they seemed more concerned about themselves and not about this wonderful community.

-- Posted by Old guy on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 9:44 PM

So what you are saying is if someone voted NO then they don't care is what you're really saying. I think everyone that voted should be congratulated even if they voted NO, maybe they had their reasons maybe they are not as well off as you. For the record I voted yes even though we will be in the same situation in two years and I don't have a lot of confidence the SB will be fiscally responsible. I don't think they will sell the lots land that is not being used. I do wonder how many of those that voted are actually homeowners. After all they are the only people guaranteed to carry this burden. As for the crisis being all the legislators fault; blame goes to the Federal, State, Local, School Board, Schools, and yes even the parents and teachers unions. After reading some of the salaries I won't believe any teacher when they say I teach for the love of the students, I'm pretty sure the money helps.

-- Posted by Retirmentcanbefun on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 7:40 AM

We did not save the schools.....We saved the sports activities in the schools...at no point in time were our schools in danger...All we did was help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...i voted NO.....and i have two kids in school...

-- Posted by Jagesuper on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 8:24 AM

I don't believe the levy "saved the schools" now anymore than I did when I voted "Yes" for it. Anyone who says the levy was to "save the schools" is either duped into believing that or a perpetrator of this falsehood. I voted for it in hopes that now that this issue has been brought to light via our pockets, we'd have two years to fix what's wrong with the system. The problem is fiscal responsibility. Yes the cuts from the federal and state levels have had a decidedly negative impact. However, these cuts were expected, at least should have been expected long before they occurred.

The primary issue is how the school district is managed; not that the taxpayers don't pay enough to support the schools; not that the state doesn't provide enough revenue from the taxpayers to the school districts; not that the federal dollars have decreased because of a decrease of students from the Air Force base -- the school district. All of these revenue streams come from one source: taxpayers. There is no magic School District 193 Money Tree. It comes from the taxpayers regardless if it's from the federal or state government, a sales tax, or levy.

For at least the past five years the top two state funded departments were Health & Welfare followed by Education. 2005 H&W +20% over Ed, 2006 H&W +22%, 2007 H&W 11%, 2008 & 2009 H&W +7%. (These figures were obtained from www.ouridaho.com -- the same place that shows you how much is being spent on salaries from state departments to golf courses and school districts.) The gap seems to be closing between H&W and Education funding by the state, and as can be expected the dollar amounts for both have risen steadily as well.

If you don't like how and where the money is being spent -- Vote! If you agree with how and where the money is being spent -- Vote!

-- Posted by VicVega on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 12:25 PM

"And if the students truly cared about the community as a whole, then they could have voted in the primary election as well. Instead IMHO, they seemed more concerned about themselves and not about this wonderful community."

A lot of the students who voted (yes or no) for the levy are leaving this community to attend college. Neither it's passage, nor it's failure affected a lot of them. They voted the way they did because of their beliefs.

So please do not call them selfish, because everyone could be considered selfish either way they voted. I don't believe anyone was selfish, either way, because we all have our own reasons for thinking and voting the way we do. It's a matter of priorities, and nobody has any right to judge another person's priorities. That's something I learned when I suggested people cut costs by eating out less, etc. It's wrong.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 1:22 PM

Lilmiss,

I say the high school students that voted for the levy are selfish because they decided how the spend my money and to use your words "are leaving the community". If they truly cared about the community, they would have voted in the primary election and not just the one that had the most effect to them. It truly upset me that some school officials praised the students for voting in the levy election and totally ignored the primary election. I vote in each and every election and not to do so is a lack of caring about one's community in my opinion. How many of the students are home owners and thus will be paying the extra tax?

-- Posted by Old guy on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 3:55 PM

There were 227 students in the 2010 Graduating class. Not all of them were 18 years old.

That's not even half of the people who voted no.

Not all of the students who voted voted yes either.

The levy outcome had ZERO effect to most of them because they would neither be in school nor would they be living in Mountain Home.

I'm sorry that over two thousand people decided how your tax dollars would be spent. But don't you dare place all the blame on the students who voted, because some of them tried to save your money.

At least they got up and voted for something. It's better than sitting around doing nothing.

And how do you know that all of the students won't be fiscally impacted by this? Maybe a student will decide to live in Mountain Home and commute to Boise, or maybe they decided before they graduated and before this levy passed to rent a home or apartment? When it comes time to renew the lease, it will be more expensive. When they go to look for a home or apartment, all will be a little bit more expensive then they could have been.

Again, you have no right to call them selfish, as we have no right to call you selfish for voting no.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 4:26 PM

Still not getting the true story just what the money for the levy is going to be used for and what the real cut backs are going to be. Its all been about scare tactics misinformation and now we have to live with it for 2 years until they come after more money cause we don't have adults in charge that know much about math and how to deal with a budget with the money they have. The whole mess was all about progranda from everyone involved and its still not clear and sure can't believe anything the school district says or the newspaper the story keeps changing and its to late now for those that have to pay the bill.

-- Posted by Eagle_eye on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 4:45 PM

Gee lilmis thanks for telling what I can and cannot think. Guess my 20+ yrs of military service, my 4 childrens yr of military service and the 1000s of others that served should have just waited for you to come along and tell us how we should think.

Once again thanks for letting all the miltary waste all these yrs.

Oh and I did not place all the blame on them. I seem to remember reading somewhere how great it was that all the students that were of age voted for the levy. Who said that... I think it was a school official or a school board official.

This is going to be my last post about this topic. I simply stated how I felt and you have decided to tell me that I should not feel that way. Way to debate !!!

-- Posted by Old guy on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 8:48 PM

Oh old guy don't make the mistake of thinking I don't understand the sacrifices the military makes. I've had a relative in every war, and both of my parents are active duty and have served since they were a little older than I am now. But "freedom of speech" doesn't allow you to make incorrect judgments and make rude and hateful statements about subjects you're not entirely informed about.

And bazookaman, thank you. Because your statement justifies a lot of the reasons we could be thankful the students didn't necessarily vote. A lot of them understood the levy, and voted the ways they did thanks to that understanding. But few of them understood the primaries. Voting just to vote is not a good idea. If the turnout is small, but all of the voters are informed, that's better than a large turnout with few uninformed voters.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 12:23 AM

Old Guy, were you there when the students voted? How do you know whether they voted in the primary or not? You're just assuming. And you know what happens when you "a-s-s- u- m-e". Way to go there buddy.

I would like to highlight something a school board member pointed out to me the other day. It is important to acknowledge that either way the vote went, for or against the levy, it was not a win-win situation. Someone had to lose, the loser will suffer losses. Some will feel the impact greater than others. It's a great win for those who supported the levy, and it's a great loss for those who could not support it. I would like to acknowledge you here and now, those who lost (not necessarily those who voted no, b/c I'm also aware that there are people who voted yes to the levy but were not thrilled about it), the fact that you are being required to do something you didn't want to do. I know it's tough, but hopefully this turns out to be a positive thing and I pray the money will be managed properly and used for its intended purpose.

-- Posted by Lil Miss's Mom on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:03 PM

Bazookaman,

I think Lil Miss will do just fine when she becomes of legal voting age. How a person chooses to vote is a very personal choice, and it isn't up to you to tell her how she should vote. Besides that, she has been educated by us and some great teachers out there. She is not a straight line kind of thinker, does a grand job of choosing sides based on tons of research and NOT what someone else tells her, and I'm pretty sure she will be just like her parents, who are NOT "family voters". Her parents have always told her to make sure she fully understands both sides, and we also challenge her when we're not sure she has seen the big picture. So, yes, thank you for your help, but we've got it covered.

-- Posted by Lil Miss's Mom on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:14 PM

One more...found this, thought it was interesting...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_o...

-- Posted by Lil Miss's Mom on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:36 PM


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