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Voters asked to approve tax levy

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Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:00 am

Kalispell voters have two weeks to decide how deep the cuts will be in next year’s elementary school budget.

Kalispell Public Schools is asking voters to approve a $338,000 tax levy in its elementary district. Voters will decide the issue May 4.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • faithful reader posted at 1:01 am on Fri, Apr 23, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            MrMark, how much do you think school board members are paid now? You know, before the raises?

          • MrMark posted at 10:13 pm on Thu, Apr 22, 2010.

            MrMark Posts: 359

            photoguy, cuz. Couldn't say it better! Sorry, My2cents. It occurs to me that the kids can learn off the same books they've been learning off of for the last 10 years or so. When the school board and teachers all get raises this year, go ask where the money came from. Most likely cuts to the kids programs, lunches, etc. The school board and teachers gotta get their raises because they are sooooooo under paid. Yeah right. The average teacher's salary is probably around 30k. A lot more than I'm making and still trying to make ends meet and pay my property taxes! I too will vote NO. Figure it out school district!

          • cuzican posted at 4:10 pm on Thu, Apr 22, 2010.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            My vote will be a big fat NO!!
            When they prove to me that they've made on honest attempt at restructuring their budget and cutting out some of the non-education related bull crap along with getting the top heavy administration ranks trimmed down, then maybe I'll think about voting yes if they still need money.
            My guess is they'd have surplus if they could manage their money.

          • photoguy posted at 1:12 pm on Thu, Apr 22, 2010.

            photoguy Posts: 940


            The mismanagement is on several different levels in this state, and unfortunately the schools are going to be one of the primary ones to take the hit. if you have been back since '02, then surely you were here for the Glacier High Debacle...a lot of statements were made that we later found out were not true, I live in the West Valley district, where other than my vote, I can't say anything about how the money is managed, they want me to pay it, but have no say in it, I know I tried, and was told if I don't have kids in school I am not welcome to talk at the meetings...well as long as I can't have input, they won't get my output. And just as point of reference, when we approved the 1.9 mill 6 years ago, they told us they would not be back, but here we are 6 years down the road, and now they want another 3.5mill, which I will do everything in my power to defeat and know a heck of a lot of others that feel the same way.

            If our county leaders would require developers to contribute to the mitigation of costs for their developments it would be a whole lot better, but they don't, those currently living here, always get stuck with the costs associated with those who might move here..and I as well as many in this county are just tired of it, in addition to being broke...you can't get water from a dry well and currently the well is bone dry, with little hope of being filled anytime soon..

            Vote no on levies, until such time as the schools show fiscal responsibility and a real ability to manage within their means.

          • My2cents posted at 10:49 am on Thu, Apr 22, 2010.

            My2cents Posts: 43

            This is for the ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. JMO-There aren't aviation classes in elementary schools...I don't even think this is offered in the high schools! And if they are, there probabl y is a fee to do it. Although I don't know this for sure, I have heard that there are fees students pay to play sports...and the Booster Clubs also work to offset the costs. Oh...and there's a fee at the door when you go to a game. There are a few sports that don't generate income--like track, cross country, etc.

            Maybeyou all should visit your local elementary schools and see what's going on there. Administration...hmm..Elrod has a principal, a secretary and a custodian. The rest are teachers. To pick up some slack, parents also volunteer to help in classrooms because they're short on assistants. It's easy to think the schools don't need anymore money when you don't have kids in school and aren't involved with the schools.
            So you think $220/year is too much to pay for education? Education is where I'd put my money first.
            Before we moved back to Montana, we lived in southern Georgia (military). Our property taxes down there were $2000/year PLUS we had sales tax and the car tags cost just as much or more. Oh...the property was worth $65,000. I'm paying $1800/year now and our house is worth nearly 3x more.
            I know there are problems in our schools in terms of their budget. I think it's backasswards how the school boards waits until it's at a crisis point to say "We're short on funds." We've been here since 2002 and have watched the construction boom and wonder where the heck the money's going. I wonder where the school land trust money is going too...considering with the Lowes/Costco development the lease money was a LOT more than the lease payments for ag use. It was my understanding that the school trust land $ is supposed to go to support the local school districts...not to the State's general fund. However, I also know that it can takes years to untangle this mess and by that time the money's gone.

            I don't like the idea of the school district not hiring kindergarten teachers to replace the few who are retiring just to save some $$. That sort of decision has long term consequences. Kindergarten is NOT the class where you cram as many kids as you can into a classroom.

          • JMO posted at 8:29 am on Thu, Apr 22, 2010.

            JMO Posts: 133

            Just look at your property tax bill - and see how much of it goes o the schools. The levy's do not go away. They say, only $20 a year, but that is on top of the $200 a yr already on there and on top of all the other levys. Stop at the top, Administrators and go downward. There are alot of classes that are optional (aviation?) that can be cut. Charge the particpates for extracaricular activities more. Or have the students do fund raisers (please no magazines or donuts). I have one income and the salary is frozen for 2 yrs so far. I have house payments. I cannot afford more out of pocket expenses. I am already cutting every where I can. I already voted NO on my absentee ballot.

          • james posted at 7:52 pm on Wed, Apr 21, 2010.

            james Posts: 516


          • photoguy posted at 3:07 pm on Wed, Apr 21, 2010.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            What everyone seems to forget, on top of the various tax increases over the last few year, we now have a reappraisal that is being phased and these schools just want to keep adding to the burden....

          • Flyitmt posted at 2:38 pm on Wed, Apr 21, 2010.

            Flyitmt Posts: 30

            I agree the school system needs to manage what income they have better and make it work, as every American is doing right now to survive. I know I don’t have it in my budget to pay more in taxes for the top heavy school district's. How much more of this can we take, lets pay off what we currently owe and then go from there.

          • Hunter posted at 11:36 am on Wed, Apr 21, 2010.

            Hunter Posts: 16

            Some people just don't get it. The school district is way to top heavy. Cut administrator and their salaries. What is it about no more taxes don't you understand? The cost is not minimal it is just the begining.

          • My2cents posted at 10:24 am on Wed, Apr 21, 2010.

            My2cents Posts: 43

            I imagine how many people are out there saying "No more taxes!" but our kids need your support! Cutting programs and teachers is like cutting off your arms and legs. The point of school is to LEARN and the only way that happens is through teachers and programs. I see the cost minimal. Consider how much you spend when you buy something from various school fundraisers, sports functions, etc. I'm sure it's more than the increase in your taxes...and easier to deduct come income tax time.
            I see what my kids' principal does at Elrod to make each penny stretch as far as it can without sacrificing a great school environment that brings together parents and kids throughout the year. I'd hate to see what would happen if the levy doesn't pass.
            Please....Don't let these kids down.


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