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Saturday, April 19, 2014

School bond set at $37 million

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Mountain Home School District will ask voters April 29 to approve a $37 million bond to complete Phase II of its long-delay effort to turn the junior high into a four-year high school.

The proposal is the same that failed by 73 votes last fall, but is $1.5 million more due to rising construction costs.

The district believes the proposal will significantly improve the quality of education for students in the district.

The additions will expand eductional opportunities for students, make new technology available in classrooms and eliminate overcrowding at the high school, junior high and middle school.

The bond will add 26 classrooms, a vocational-technical building three times the size of the current one, a gym, an auditorium and two computer labs.

The additional rooms will allow students to pursue different course offerings, Mountain Home High School principal Jeff Johnson said.

The biggest improvements will affect performing arts and vo-tech classes.

For example, band and choir would have their own classrooms. Because the band and choir teacher currently share a room, the number of band and choir classes available to students are limited. With their own classrooms, the band and choir teacher could both teach a full day of classes.

Likewise, a larger vo-tech building may allow the district to offer auto body classes instead of just the current auto mechanic classes or expand other vo-tech programs.

The proposal would put students from ninth to 12th grade together.

Johnson thinks if the high school got students at the ninth-grade level, it would help reduce the number of students that drop out from ninth to 10th grade.

Students would be more likely to understand they are working towards graduation credits, Johnson said, and have the chance to enroll in current high school electives such as auto tech, drafting, health occupations and food and parenting classes

"If they find something they are interested in in ninth grade, they are less likely to drop out," Johnson said. "If you give a kid a reason to say, 'wow, this is cool,' and a reason to come to school, hopefully they are less likely to drop out."

With ninth- to 12th-grade students in the same building, ninth grade teachers would be able to teach more classes since the junior high only offers six courses a semester while the high school offers eight. That further expands the number of classes available to students.

With the change, the high school would become a junior high and house seventh and eighth grade students. Hacker Middle School would contain fifth and sixth grades and no longer would be overcrowded.

"The overcrowding at Hacker is one of the driving forces behind this bond issue proposal," Supt. Tim McMurtrey said.

Power point projectors and internet access installed in the new high school would allow teachers to take advantage of modern technology.

"The new generation is into technology," Johnson said. "We can capture their attention if we use new technology."

Johnson said most textbooks come with interactive DVDs that expand on lectures but go largely unused since teachers don't have the technology to use them in class.

Students also would have access to better technology themselves with two computer labs. Johnson said the labs would give students more access to research and prevent the junior English research paper from tying up all of the school's computers.

An additional gym must be included in the bond to meet state standards for a high school.

The gym, along with improved locker rooms, weight room and wrestling facilities would solve scheduling problems for the high school's athletic teams. Currently, athletic teams have to be scheduled in other buildings in the district or staggered in the main gym on schedules that can sometimes lead to late night practices for some teams.

The gym also would give Mountain Home the chance to hold basketball and wrestling district tournaments. The current high school gym is too small to hold events such as district tournaments.

The gym is also too small to handle graduation comfortably. The new gym would be designed to hold the district's largest annual event indoors, free from the possibility of weather interfering with the current outdoor ceremony.

In addition to the gym, an auditorium also will be built under the plan.

The auditorium is for school and community events and would double as a classroom for the dance, band, choir and drama programs.

The school district built the current junior high in 1998 with the plan to expand it into a high school within a few years. However, enrollment rates in the district declined and the school board delayed completing the building.

Enrollment has since increased, forcing the district to pursue the bond now.

The school board tried to get a similar bond passed last September but the measure failed by 73 votes.

"We soft-pedaled the bond the first time," McMurtrey said. "We wanted to see the feeling of the community. Although we lost, the vote told us we had a good plan and should try again."

The school board is confident that if it could get more people to the polls, in particular more supporters of the plan who didn't vote in September, the measure has a good chance of passing.

The school board is hoping to form a citizen's group to help promote the bond and anyone interested in helping should contact McMurtry at the district office (587-2580).

"We've got to stress what this means to the future, that we're not just looking at the next two or three years, but 15-20 years down the road. We're designing this so we can expand in the future. This is a facility that will last our students a very long time."


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Typical. You folks who so adamantly oppose the School Bond only see what's directly in front of you.

It's just common sense. You have to fix the base of the problem to see results. The base of the problems that we all love to gripe about, not just in MH, but nation-wide, is the education system.

Out of curiosity, when was the last time you naysayers have attended high school? Because no less than two months ago, I was forced to cut my high school education short because of health conditions to which the "current atmosphere of the school premises was not genial." Basically, because of the poor condition of the nurse's office, those atrocious low current florescent lights (which have triggered many a seizure, not only for me, but also for a friend and schoolmate of mine who has epilepsy), and the grossly congested hallways, I can no longer attend high school with my friends and peers.

So please forgive me if I find it hard to feel sorry for you and your car-sized potholes or the trashy appearance of our town (which, frankly, is the responsibility of the individual citizen, and not the city officials.) I've yet to meet a well-minded student that doesn't support the School Bond.

It's not just a corny, over-generalization; Our youth (especially those nearing the age at which important financial, occupational, and political decisions are made) are the future.

The way I see it, you can either complain about the present, or you can fix the future. Take some time out of your busy lives to find the foresight to see that the best, quickest, most progressive path to betterment is the betterment of our education system.

I may not know the ones and zeros of this particular proposition. From what I understand of it, it seems like a decent bill. I'm not saying that it'll be a fix-all solution. No one thing will fix everything our education system is lacking. I'm just saying that any money going towards the school is as good as money inherently going towards the general betterment of the future.

-- Posted by ahryn on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 6:33 PM

Im still Voting "NO" on the Bond, is it on April 29th and where is it at ?

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 8:17 AM

BACK TO THE SCHOOL BOND: NEW INFO

NEW INFORMATION

I DO HAVE MORE INFO that those who want to get the FACTS can get them.

According to the numbers given to us by the district LAST WEEK(See Opinion Missy blog)the overall GROWTH of students since 2003 to current date is 36 STUDENTS.

In a 4 year period we have only 36 more students.

I also wanted the enrollment numbers during 1998 (opening of new school) to 2003. (We have lost at least 2 squadrons since then.)A few hundred people. I do have the website to check enrollments for the district since 1993.

NEW INFO FOF YOU

I CALLED THE IDAHO BOARD OF ED. and Greg Berg (Sp?) gave me the website to look at the enrollments from 1993 to the current year.

The site is sde.idaho.gov (I hope this is not considered a link.) Then go to drop down menu- Divisions -finance information and technology. Then on the right hand side of the page go the orange block Q"uicklinks" Fall enrollments. Then left side of page "Fall enrollment by District by building by grade. Then move down to line #5953 District 193 - Mountain Home This is an excell document so I don't know if all of you will be able to open it.

I have looked at it. Overall growth is down. Hacker is up but due to moving kids from base to town. I had to study the numbers to get the growth or decline for Hacker in 2005 and 2006. Liberty lost 104, but Hacker gained 105. Also - if you move the kids up to the next grade next year , if I am correct -the numbers begin to drop off again.

As for the people coming in from overseas to be sationed at the base - the info I received is: Their country is requiring them to live on the base - if that is so - their children will go to base schools. So we will have to open those schools up again. Now if that info is correct - we can move the overflow from town to the base.

By the way Greg gave me the info in about 2 seconds.

I called the Mtn Home school district here in town 5 minutes before I called Greg at the Idaho Dept of Education and Mtn Home told me I had to submit a letter to them to get the info.

So I asked them for the number of the Idaho Board of Ed.

Why didn't Mtn Home give me the same link? Or for that matter -

Why didn't they give the link to Opinion Missy when she tried to get the numbers for each school????.

Why make it hard on people to get the FACTS??? Get a clue here?

-- Posted by midea on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 3:15 PM

"I really do not see where these numbers support a $37 million dollar bond."

You are looking too closely at the present numbers. The school district is planning for 10 years or even 20 years into the future. All the new housing in town and on base is surely going to attract more people to this community.

We are trying to pass a bond while the prices are still "low". Look at how the price jumped from September to April. Can we really afford to wait any longer? Spend a little now or a ton more in the future... in the end, it will still be the same product. The product is a facility that best fosters education and student opportunities is basic education, skills training, athletics, and in arts and human culture.

Look at the blueprints for the additions. We are building for the "standard" education. We are trying to build a 2 story addition for extra "standard" classrooms. We are trying to build a massive vo-tech center so that youth who are not the the "college bound" type have a chance at learning technical skills to enter the workforce right out of graduation.

Boise school district schools have all the additions that we are trying to bring to our community. If they didn't mean anything to student acheivement, then the Boise community wouldn't have spent the millions to build them.

-- Posted by bond_supporter on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 6:59 PM

Parent1:

I am wondering something. We "throw" money at the people that run this town and what do they do with all of the money? We have property, that we have been taxed on for years, for a recreation district building that will probably never be. They paid a premium for that land. We have record growth in this town and where is all of this money (additional money from all of the building...more property tax money). All we hear about is how poor our town is and how they cannot afford anything.

Where is the money? Are you military or a military family member? If you are, and you are here for the short term, I am pretty sure that you do not really care about the tax increase because you will not be here to pay for it. If you are a long-timer here then what I just stated is not the case. I for one do not want to continue just handing money over to the people that run this town. The "blank check/sky is the limit" ideals really needs to end. The economy is bad and many of us may not have jobs soon. Or, if we have jobs, we will pay $4.50 per gallon for gas and 30% more for our food and if this bond passes we will have a large tax increase to boot.

We really need to think about this $37 million dollar bond and vote on the facts NOT what would be nice to have. School is what these kids make of it. A new building is not going to make these kids learn better or go to school/class. If they do not want to learn or go to class then they will not learn or go to class no matter what the school is like.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 10:37 PM

Here are the numbers from the district which were forwarded to me from a friend. The 07-08 counts were taken on 2-19-08. All other years are taken from the last attendance date in May for each year.

Hacker

07-08

902

06-07

872

05-06

806

04-05

828

03-04

859

MHJHS

07-08

646

06-07

646

05-06

598

04-05

637

03-04

646

MHHS

07-08

781

06-07

748

05-06

746

04-05

768

03-04

788

The auditorium ALONE will cost us $3,569,747.

I really do not see where these numbers support a $37 million dollar bond. With all of the building that has gone on over the past 2 years (and now that is over for the most part), I would have thought that these numbers would be higher. I just do not see the need for this large of a bond. The tax increase alone is great and will put many people out of their homes.

Again, these numbers were all supplied by the district. Thank you.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 10:17 PM

"America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week."

Evan Esar (1899 - 1995)

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 9:27 AM

Parent1 my vote will be canceling yours.

Freedom you scare me with all your doom and gloom!

-- Posted by desert1der on Thu, Mar 13, 2008, at 11:05 PM

its Tax and Spend and I got no more Money, I pay tax on everything, Ive tried too add it all up, but its just too much even to do that, where are we suppose to get all this money from, How do I tell somebody who may want to buy my house that they are also buying into a 37 million dollar tax ?, and Im going to pass this on to my grandkids too ?? when does this bond stuff slow down or stop, I think Im gonna lose my house because of taxion, just not on this bond, just across the board, I just can't afford it any more, maybe the next guy who buys my house can, but I can just see it coming , back into apartment life I guess

-- Posted by Freedom on Thu, Mar 13, 2008, at 3:52 PM

I agree - we need honesty. We need FACTS. The district keeps saying enrollment is too high. Give me facts-----Please!!

Give us , the voters,

(1)the TOTAL NUMBERS ENROLLED in our district,each year since 1998 (year the school was built) This includes the base schools numbers since they are in our district.

(2) also the numbers of students enrolled since 1998- BY SCHOOL-including the base school numbers, so we can see which schools have/had the highest number of children.

I am sure the school board has access to these numbers and wouldn't mind sharing them with the public since they would want all of voters to be knowledgable and be able to make good choices about their vote. Any one out there agree?

-- Posted by midea on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 1:37 PM

We can spend hours saying we should have done this and we should have done that, but it doesn't change the fact that, very soon, something needs to happen. We can continue to complain about taxes, which I hate as well, or make sure our money is going to something worthwhile. The longer we wait the more it will cost. I believe you had the idea of an open house at the junior high to see where and how all the money would be spent. That is a great idea and should happen.

I agree with you about how tax money is handled here. Mountain Home looks like crap from any direction you enter, but we need to be proactive and start showing up to city council meetings to voice our opinions. If enough of us did that, then they may begin to listen and do something. If they don't vote them out.

I don't think that there is a "real" story behind this bond. I know that it is to relieve overcrowding at Hacker, keep more of our 9th graders in school, and grow for the future. The architect said this building will last 70 years.

Speaking as a teacher from the high school, we don't have many teachers that don't try to do a good job. It is a fairly young group with about 10-12 teachers ready to retire in the next couple of years out of fifty. The other 40 teachers have about 5-15 years experience. I agree, just as in any other profession, those found to be incompetent should be eliminated.

-- Posted by mule on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:55 PM

So...have our taxes not been consistently going up over the years in this town? Our taxes may not be in the same area as CA or IL or some of the larger cities but they have been on the rise.

What would make any of us think that this bond for the the junior high/proposed four-year high school will be money well spent and that ALL of it will really end up at the school? Do not get me wrong--the schools need help in Mtn. Home but it really should have been done over time.

When do these bonds and "special elections" end? Next, we will be nailed for the hospital which many of us do not even use because we go to Boise (due to the fact that it is VERY hard to get an appointment at any local clinic in the are due to the population of our town).

I do not have kids but I pay for the schools. Fine, that is the way it is. However, our town should also give back to the community or if you will, the town (elected officials) should give back to the taxpayers. There is a lot of money out there (taxes for this and that) yet we see NO progress with making quality of life better within the town. We cannot even agree on how to treat biting insects that come every year and kill people as a result of one bite.

What is the "real" story on this plan? I am not on board to pay out more money and our city and county officials need to be more accountable. We are not big ATM machines. I for one am tired of being treated like one.

Maybe the quality of some of the teachers (not that we do not have some great teschers that work very hard) should be looked at. Some of the teachers (like any other job) really do not like to teach anymore. Teaching is harder than it was 5-10 years ago. Teachers cannot even count on pay increases. The number of years that teachers have to work before they QUALIFY to retire is a very long time. It would make me not very thrilled as well. I just do not see how a fancy facility is going to "make" the kids learn. School, much like life, is what YOU make of it. This is not a solution.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 2:40 PM

Whether we like it or not Mountain Home is growing. We will need a new high school (it would alleviate crowding at Hacker m.s., have more 9th graders continue their education) in the near future and the cost is only going to go up and up. It has already gone up a few million since the last vote a few months ago. It seems that we have a lot of older citizens that don't like to see change and gripe every time something new is proposed. I know taxes are stupid and I don't want to see mine go up either, but sometimes we need to look at what is best for our students and community. You can say we can use this facility or that facility to do this or that, but we all know that that is not feasible or realistic. Let's try to look toward the future and not to what is convenient and easy now.

-- Posted by mule on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 8:33 AM

I really don't think the Elks Run their Operation the same way the Government Run's theirs, if they did they would have been out of business a long time ago, and I don't think they write checks with other peoples money that they can't cash.

If a Parent can afford an SUV, computer, house, sports cars, vacations, going out to eat, and buy cars and motorcycles , cells phones. tell me something why can't a parent pay for their own kids Education, I don't get this, why do I have to pay this, why.

the Government tells poor people on SSI and welfare,(if you work, have property, Bank Account, you can't have SSI or Welfare, matter of fact you can't even leave the State for over 30 days without losing every thing you have, the Government even hires people to check on the people who check on the people who may want to have a little money.

Im a Vet, I was homeless in 1987 with a wife and a young son, across the street from my house the was a high school parking lot full of sports cars , BMW,, these are vehicles that kids drive, see what I mean.

Your Right, I don't want to this kind of tax anymore, Your Right, I don't becaue I see the Big Picture here what the Goverment is really doing, and I don't want to pay for it anymore, Ive paid taxes for 40 years and folks see what we got for it, nothing.

Our Prisons are busting at the seams.

If your kid don't get Educated, its not property owners fault, NO, you should not pin that on us, thats not right

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 4:55 PM

You all don't want to pay any new taxes...yes please let's continue to pay taxes for sub standard services this town offers. Let's pay increases to buy a house in a town that offers nothing in relation to good facilites or services in dealing with education, more jobs, recreation, or anything short of some sort of competitive wage for that matter. You know you can still be a small town and maybe meet some sort of standard. Why not try improving the education facilities. Try spending money on the kids. Maybe someday it will affect all of you in a positive way. There is always more concern over where the new Elks's lodge will be than a new facility for education. As a parent I am tired of the cramped conditions at Hacker and feel that for development reasons-7th grade should not be with 5th grade and 9th grade should not be with 8th. I know some of you had that growing up, but 20 years later, kids are dealing with MUCH different issues than what we had growing up. I am sure other PARENTS that have students in this grade will agree. It may not affect me as the new facility will take time, but if I can safe a future parents' headache with the school facilities that are offered in this town, then I will vote YES!

-- Posted by Parent 1 on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 3:17 PM

This Money is NOT Our Money, Its NOT the Governments Money,,, Its My Money.

If the Government has not used this Money, the Government Should Return it back too the Tax Payers (Property Owners) and not try to think up NEW Ways too Spend My Money. I have bills too.

What We Need is Tax Cuts.

With this issue of the Rec Dist, yes sell the land and rebate all that bond Money back too the Tax Payer.

-- Posted by Freedom on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 11:53 AM

Senior lady: Great points you made. I put a blog on the front page regarding these issues. I too agree with you. Why would we need 2 audiroriums in town?

I truly don't feel that the rec district building will ever be. From what I understand, the funding at this point is not there. There is little to none progress being made on this Since we are being taxed on this - let's switch gears and put that tax toward the school instead of another new bond.

I bet there is a great deal of money just sitting there not being used. How many years have we been taxed on the rec district? I say there is a great deal of money from sale of the land if it was sold, the money collected to start the project, and the already collected taxes.

Let's put our money to work where it CAN be used.

-- Posted by midea on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 10:42 AM

I'm sorry. At my age, I forget easily. I have to have the article in front of me. I just went back and reread it. There's a lot in it. One thing did occur to me: If the high school has an auditorium, and Mtn. Home Nazarene will have an auditorium for their own and public use, maybe we don't need the Rec District one.

Someone recently I think questioned the lack of progress on the Rec District complex, which, if I recall, was quite grand. So that is a very good observation on his/her part.

I am not quick-witted, folks; please bear with me.

Maybe if we pass the bond issue on the school we can forget about the Rec District, if that is possible. The school's facilities would probably get more use. Is this possible?

-- Posted by senior lady on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 9:59 PM

Senior Lady: Your words were: "Once I am reminded of the actual provisions, and am assured that the most economical ways are found to build the school........."

I don't understand. In what way must you be reminded of the actual provisions? Also,what would assure you that the most economical ways are found to build the school?

-- Posted by midea on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 7:15 PM

1. Our country's future depends on those who are young now. They need a proper education, including computer, vo-tech, AND various music courses.

2. Once I am reminded of the actual provisions, and am assured that the most economical ways are found to build the school, I will most definitely vote for it. My husband and I are on a very limited income in a small home, but I feel the bond will be worthwhile.

3. We may no longer have children in the system, but my husband and I, and our three grown children -- to say nothing for the state and nation -- can only benefit from a complete education for the youth of the community.

-- Posted by senior lady on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 5:45 PM

Education Bond is NOT about "Kids" or even Education or schools for that matter.

Its about Taxation and Property Rights. We're at the start of what could be a long Economic Recession and with the slump in the Housing Market

Lets Review.

The Government Taxes Property Owners every year. Then Taxes us Again with (6)% percent Sales tax ,even on Food.

The Government Uses that 6 Percent Sales Tax NOT on Education/Roads/Hospitals but rather they build Prisons,Jails,Drug/mental health Courts.

At years end of 2006, over 5 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole jurisdiction; approximately 4,237,000 on probation and 798,200 on parole.

859.000 people a year are arrested for Smoking Marijuana at a cost too Tax Payers of 40 Billion dollars a year.

70 % percent of the people in Prison are in for drugs while we have thousands of Registered Sex Offenders Walking the streets

Then the Government wants to jack up the Vehicle registration to about 150 too 250 dollars a year up from 24 dollars a year.

Now Some people believe that the Property Owners just Don't (Understand) the Facts. thats an insult. after 40 years of paying taxes I don't understand, excuse me, yes I do.

Its Mr Johnson and Mr McMurtrey who don't understand Social Reality and the Economy.

Prohibition, need I say more fellow Tax Payers.

Talk too Mr Johnson and Mr McMurtrey , OK

Dear Mr Johnson and Mr McMurtrey.

If you want Money for a so called Education Bond, you guys need to go talk too Gov Otter and the Idaho Legislature.

Tell them too end the War on Marijuana/Hemp.

Why!!! because the Property Owners Can't afford it anymore thats why, Plus Tax payers just don't like paying taxes on a everlasting stupid defective Drug Law. that is poorly written, Uninforceable, except at Adults, Sick people and the poor

like kinda of step out of your Political Box that you folks seem too be stuck in for a day.

Matter of fact,,,, send DARE packing,,, why,,,duhh it does not Obvisoly Work and you are obvisoly asking the Property Owners to Pay the Tax Bill for it aren't you.

Please leave the Property Owners alone.

We've already paid this Prohibition Tax Many Times over.

The Government already has Our Money.

Its not the Property Owners fault that the Government spends Our Tax dollars to support the Political philosphy of Prohibition rather than spend it where it should be,,, on Education.

We all Knew from the start of all this 40 years ago, this is where the "Rubber meets the Road".

Its about the Money.

We all Knew this !!!!

Go Get OUR Money Mr Johnson and Mr McMurtrey,

Go Team !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Idaho is on a Liberal Roll of Tax and Spend

-- Posted by Freedom on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 7:09 AM

You know it's sad that IdahoBorn has to criticize Mr. Johnson instead of asking to clairfy something you are not understanding. The only way to get the REAL facts is to ask. Has anyone tried a good old sit down with Mr. Johnson, a teacher who works in the schools every day, or perhaps Mr. McMurtrey himself? I say invite them out to coffee, buy them a donut (or tell them they have to buy you a donut) and ask questions...don't attack them when you don't fully understand WHY they are asking for this or what they are asking for. Personally I think the statements Mr. Johnson made were more about THE KIDS not about "A new building and some new gadgets."

I hear lots of comments about this gym, but the thing I have heard is that it is now STATE SANCTIONED that any new gym be built to this standard. So does the district really have a choice in the size/type of gym that it is presenting? The area they call a "track" inside the gym is a REQUIREMENT not a frivolous waste of money and not really a "track." If it is a requirement and the state says it HAS to be built this way, how is that anyone's fault?

This subject will go on and on and I just think that instead of turning this into a personal attack on anyone who presents their point of view, lets find out the facts, as questions arise, and have a postive and respectful debate about it.

-- Posted by g4kdz on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 2:32 PM

That's right folks, punish the kids because the economy's down...makes sense to me!!! What a joke.

-- Posted by mrfresh28 on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 10:03 AM

FREEDOM - I too will vote NO. You are so correct. The economy is just too much right now. Gas up, food up, car regisrations nearly doubling. How can people afford this? Wages in this area aren't keeping up. This is a costly venture for homeowners right now. Plus, I didn't like being hoodwinked when the school was built.

-- Posted by midea on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 9:38 AM

I think someone who has the time should look up newspaper archives about the "high school" being built. If I remember correctly the original building was SUPPOSED to be opened as a high school. When it wasn't there were a lot of people in this town angry, and some still are. Many felt they were lied to.

We were also told that the annex at the middle school (Hacker)was condemned or was going to be condemned so we would have one less building. Also, last year, not this school year, the school was closed on base and the kids put into the downtown middle school which created more crowding. Convenient to try to get a bond through. We DO NOT need a big fancy school. Fancy doesn't affect education. Give us a moderate looking, down to earth school. The entry way at the school shows us just how much space and MONEY was WASTED when it was built.

-- Posted by midea on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 9:33 AM

Wow, We're at the start of what could be a long Economic Recession and with the slump in the Housing Market they want a BOND (TAX) on the Property Owner for 37 Million dollars, what Nerve

Oh Give it Up, Please leave the Property Owner alone.

I Will Vote "NO".

Nows NOT the time for ANY new tax, None at all

-- Posted by Freedom on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 6:48 AM

We certainly would not cut anything from the sports department to help pay for vo-tech areas would we. Let's say you want to play football thats good, now parents are you willing to pay for equipment rental and transportation to the games??????????? I would rather pay for someone to learn how to fix my car, that might open a shop in Mountain Home which may possible employ 3 or 4 people versus pay the same amount to a whole team in hopes one player might move on to a college team tnen the NFL. I put my money on learning a skill long before a toss a field. Weigh the cost folks, if football is worth it well don't complain at the cost of learning a skill.

-- Posted by workingbee on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 11:23 PM

Wow. After that wonderful sales pitch by Mr. Johnson, I'm rethinking my support for this. The only thing that is going to "significantly improve the quality of education for students in the district", is involvement and support from their parents. A new building and some new gadgets aren't going to provide a significant improvement.

When I attended high school the goal was to learn reading, english, mathematics, government, history, economics and the like. Today everyone is worried about whether or not our students are having fun and whether or not they will be prepared to be ballet dancers and film producers when they graduate from high school. I'm more concerned that they can read a write and make good economics decisions (stay out of debt). If the want to specialize and study a certain profession they can go to college or trade school. Do the students in Mountain Home really attend 8 different classes in a school day? I don't think that there is enough time in the day for that. It must be part of our ADD society.

I'm not saying that Performing Arts and Vo-Tech aren't important, but $37 million seems a bit large for improvements that are mostly in those two areas. Why do band and choir need their own classrooms when they can just use the auditorium? Is there really enough demand in Mountain Home for eight classes of band and choir?

Can students dropout before they are 18 without their parents consent? I don't know the rules, because dropping out never crossed my mind. I don't think that a fancy new building or some new exciting class is the answer to the dropout problem. Again, it is the parents.

Mr. Johnson talks about technology, but sounds like he's never used it or thinks that none of us have. I have internet in my home and my home wasn't built for the internet. I hope that the internet is available in every school in the district, but he talks about is as if the junior high is amazing and the only place that can have it. Then he mentions dvds, but again almost every computer made today can play dvds. A projector can be placed in any class room.

I believe that a new gym is needed, but it sounds like they are trying to get all the bells and whistles. Why do the need a wrestling facility? With the addition of the gym, that is one more in the district which should ease the scheduling concerns. I don't mind planning for future expansion, but I don't think that we need it now. Both the gym and the auditorium would be good additions to the community and I believe would be used often. However, could they be built in a joint effort with parks and rec or the community center?

I haven't made up my mind on this bond, but I will be watching to see what information is provided. I know that it is important to invest in education, but it is even more important to invest wisely. I grew up in a district that had a very hard time passing bond elections. When I was in 8th grade the school district basically forced a bond to pass by making our Jr. High a Middle School and holding split sessions. I went to school around noon and didn't get out until around 6:00 p.m. During basketball and football season I would get home from practice in time to eat dinner and go to bed. I would spend the mornings on my home work. It put a strain on families and the community (shoplifting, truancy, etc...) to the point that the next bond election passed and split sessions came to an end. It didn't kill me (or anyone else that I know of), but I don't want to see my children or my community go through anything like it. Needs are surely there, but lets be wise about how they are addressed and lets not attach the bells and whistles if we can't afford them and don't need them. Lets teach our children economics, by example.

-- Posted by IdahoBorn on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:20 PM

So...you did not pass this the last time and again it hits the people to vote on yet again. Maybe if you were more honest with the voters you would not have a problem passing a bond for school improvements. I am curious, with all of the growth that Mtn. Home has had in the last 4 years, where is all of the money? What are the "powers that be" doing with all of the "extra" money? Our roads in town have holes that cars can fall into, the town is dirty (from trash) and the police departments are short handed? Who is pocketing all of the extra money? A little honesty would be nice for a change.

Oh, the yard police need to get out there and start prompting people to clean up and get rid of all their junk. Our town looks rather crappy right now. Just drive down Sunset Strip and some of the areas in the county. Can we have some pride in our town for a change? What about the 2 burned out store fronts on Main that have been that way for a couple of years. C'mon folks...clean it up already!

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 12:50 PM


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