Public commentators, some in favor of a lower levy amount and others who would prefer to do away with the funding model altogether, have asked the Mountain View School District to present its bills to the Statehouse at the meeting of the Board of Trustees of Monday in Grangeville.
Superintendent Todd Fiske even asked if property taxes were the best way to fund education.
“This is not Mountain View’s funding model; that’s Idaho’s funding model, ”Fiske said. “Should we be at the state level, asking more of our Assembly? “
An additional $ 3.1 million levy, which asked for $ 800,000 less than a previous measure, was rejected by voters in May. It would have supported the general operation and maintenance of the buildings and activities of the school district for a year. Another attempted levy, this time of $ 2.2 million, is scheduled for August.
Becky Hogg, business manager for the school district, spoke to Casey Smith, a board member who ran several ads and editorials in the Idaho County Free Press opposing the district’s efforts to pass the tax which would represent around 30% of its total budget.
“Make sure your facts are clear,” Hogg said. “And make sure you have respect for your neighbors and their families who built these schools.”
According to Hogg, the tax proposed by the school district applied at a lower rate per $ 1,000 of assessed property value, compared to similar measures from its sister districts.
“The royalty is for everything that makes up the meatloaf that we currently eat,” she said. “We are not adding anything new, in addition or above. “
Smith, the only board member who has publicly opposed the school district’s most recent levy attempts, objected to Hogg’s comments.
“I answer that she accuses me of being a liar,” he said.
Board chair Rebecca Warden read a report submitted with the agenda for last month’s meeting by former Acting Superintendent Woody Woodford, who held the position for a school year.
“Woodford noted that once the disinformation gets out there it’s hard to bring it back,” Warden said. “How do we bridge the gap and give members of our community accurate information? “
Bonnie Majors, who said she had resided in Idaho County for more than 30 years, told the board during its public comment period that it received a public response in May when the levy had been refused by the voters.
Property values have risen across the country, according to Majors, and will be reflected in future property taxes.
“The state has a responsibility to provide adequate public education,” she said. “Go to Boise and demand that they do just that.”
John Silveria, also speaking during the public comment, cited Article 9 Section 1 of the Idaho Constitution, which states that the duty of the legislature is “to establish and maintain a general, uniform and full of public and free common schools ”.
“There is no reason to fight between them,” said Silveria. “Go into the state and charge them the bill like the Constitution says they’re supposed to. Either that or we say that we are going to close the schools.
School district officials have predicted a financial emergency if the reduced levy does not pass in August.
“Starting with the new school year, we have big hurdles ahead of us,” said Fiske. “We have to ask what we want from our school district. Cease-fire.
The Mountain View School Board will meet again at 5:30 p.m. on July 19 at the district office.