Are we getting the whole truth about the $13.9 million in new levies that the Great Falls Public School District ($1.348 million) and the City of Great Falls ($12.6 million) wants us to approve? And if we, the taxpayers, don’t approve them will that cause the dire consequences listed in their distributed promotional materials?
Okay Chicken Littles, let’s take a look.
First, the taxpayers of this city just got done giving the school district nearly a tenth of billion dollars only 18 months ago. Yes, that’s right, a tenth of a BILLION dollars! Oh right, that money can only go to building and repair projects, and this year’s request of $1.348 million is for operational costs. So what? It matters far less to taxpayers which District accounts the money goes into than which accounts it comes out of: OURS! All of it.
“Oh right, that money can only go to building and repair projects, and this year’s request of $1.348 million is for operational costs. So what? It matters far less to taxpayers which District accounts the money goes into than which accounts it comes out of: OURS! All of it.”
Many of our neighbors and families live on fixed incomes, not like the school district and the City, and just can’t afford higher taxes. We have all heard about elderly people cutting back on their medical prescriptions because they can’t afford the never-ending taxes and costs of living increases that are forced upon them.
The school district treats taxpayers like a checking account with overdraft protection.
And, is the school district really cutting back on expenses? In a January 16, 2018 Email from Superintendent Tammy Lacey she said this:
“I confirm that the number of administrators increased by one, but contended that quantity of work and more importantly, the quality of the work (given Shelly’s and Susan’s previous experiences) are worth adding to the administrative footprint. As I have said, every time an administrator leaves our organization, it is a good to re-evaluate. Sometimes the re-evaluation reduces the footprint and as in this case, sometimes it increases it. The Bottom line for either outcome is what is best for student outcomes.”
The enrollment trend has been down, not UP for the Great Falls School District over the last 20 plus years from well over 12,000 students to just over 10,000 students. Should it also mean a reduction in personnel? You would think so because if it was the other way around the District would have cried that they needed more staff.
The enrollment for the school year 2007-2008 was 10,985, this year it is 10,449, a decrease of over 500 students in the past 10 years. Enrollment was down about 100 students last year alone.
To add insult to injury, the huge majority of the proposed $1.348 million levy goes to “Contractual Obligations”, added health insurance premiums and raises, and that includes administrators making six figures.
Are we living in the Twilight Zone, or what? Just tell us the Truth, we can handle it and vote accordingly. We know who needs a “footprint”, and where!
Please take our poll on the upcoming GFPS tax increase.