elections are Tuesday
Tuesday, May 18 will be the school elections with the entire district voting on a proposed $263,000 override levy and the patrons of trustee zone #4 voting for their school board representative.
Brit Groom, of trustee zone #3, is unopposed and will be declared elected.
In zone #4 incumbent Dan Forsmann is being opposed by Della Gehring.
The proposed override is the same as was approved for last year.
Polls will be open from noon until 8 p.m. and the polling places are listed in the legal notice on page 10.
An informational meeting on the override levy is set from Wednesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Elementary School gym.
School Levy Election Information
The School Board, in a special meeting, proposed a levy to cut the school budget by $112,000 in order to keep the override levy at the same level as last year. This will mean cuts of 1 1/2 teachers, and a 20% reduction in the supplies, materials and textbook budgets of all three schools and the district office. In reality, these budgets will be less than half of what they were several years ago because of previous year’s budget cuts. The ability of the district and individual teachers to teach quality classes will suffer as a result. However, our dedicated faculty and staff have, and will continue to, work tirelessly to provide the best possible education to your students. As a result of this dedication, our schools rank as three of the best in both the state and nation, in spite of severe budget cuts and the fact that personnel have not had a raise in their salary schedules for four years.
In the past nine years, 8 full time equivalent positions have been eliminated from the administration, faculty and staff. Salary schedules have remained frozen for four years. Employee benefits have been reduced. Flexible spending has been reduced by 50% and, in spite of all this, we still strive to offer a high quality education. However, there is a point of diminishing returns, and we are at, or past, that point.
If this levy does not pass, further cuts in classified staff, reduction or elimination of extra curricular activities, further cuts or elimination of supply and textbook budgets, and a total elimination of repair and maintenance budgets will have to be explored. This will signal the beginning of the end of our quality school system.
The Legislature has not lived up to their constitutional duties of providing a thorough educational system and providing school facilities that are safe and conducive to learning. They continue to shift this responsibility to local property tax payers and we continue to fight their absolving themselves of their responsibilities. Our school tax rate continues to be in the bottom third of schools in the state and nation, and it will remain the same as last year or possibly reduced slightly. The school board also wants you to know that they will have to explore options to begin repairing heating systems, and solving other safety issues in the future.
In conclusion, we wish to thank the patrons of our community for their support of our schools.
A public meeting to discuss this issue will be held Wednesday, May 12, at 7:00 pm, in the Elementary Gym. The election will be held Tuesday, May 18, from noon until 8:00 pm. Please stay involved.