I used to think that if the schools just were more thrifty they wouldn’t have to keep coming to the voters and asking for more money.
Then I started attending school board meetings. I learned that:
1. The state and federal governments fund almost nothing at 100 percent (hence Maintenance and Operations levies).
2. Those governments keep adding requirements that must be met if our local district is to get tax money back.
3. Our local district is very financially conservative and wise in its spending.
I also learned there are two kinds of funding: that for the education process and that for constructing buildings. Funds for one cannot be used for the other.
State and federal funds for buildings are laughably small and only given after the local community shows good faith by voting to pay for most of it themselves.
Our daughter was a special education student for 18 years and we watched as she received therapies and had classes in portables that were old and shabby 25 years ago. They are still in use. There have been no funds to upgrade facilities for years.
Considering all the things needed to give our children a safe and healthy learning environment, the amount asked for in the current bond levy is conservative.
After watching our board work — for years — to meet requirements of the state and still make ends meet, I believe this construction bond request is reasonable.