Letter to the Editor

It is common sense to vote no on Prop S

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Editor:

Thank you for allowing me to respond to the article appearing in the Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Nevada Daily Mail announcing the Aug. 3 vote on the levy increase for Northeast Vernon County School District.

We all join Mr. Charles Naas and the fine teachers in the Northeast Vernon County School District in wanting the very best education for our children. On this point we are all in agreement. Time and history has proven that multi-million dollar school buildings do not ensure a good education. It is good parenting in the home, a staff of good teachers, and the curriculum and content of the textbooks that ensure a good education.

It is difficult for me to imagine why we must obligate the taxpayers of this school district for the next 20 years to pay the enormous lease cost on a new building complex given the following facts.

* The Walker School District has some buildings that are very functional. The primary building that is causing so much of the problem could be torn down and replaced for a fraction of the cost of a multi-million dollar facility. When the human body needs a knee replacement the doctor does not recommend a total body replacement.

* Why not build a new facility in Walker and consolidate the two schools at Walker? Using existing facilities that are still functional at Walker together with one moderate sized building in the place of the existing structure, and you are in business at a fraction of the cost. Hard-pressed taxpayers might be persuaded to sign onto this common sense approach.

* Shrinking state and federal allocations for funding education is now in progress. School districts all over the country are cutting back as educational monies dwindle. This is simply not the time to obligate the taxpayers with a 20 year commitment that will bring California and New York school levies to financially strapped taxpayers.

* There is a real possibility that budgetary cuts in education on both federal and state levels will force consolidation of schools. Will Northeast Vernon County taxpayers be called upon to make enormous lease payments on an empty building that is closed by state mandated legislation when there is simply no money to keep small districts in operation?

* Will this proposed levy not dry up the building of new homes, farm buildings, and all improvements in the Northeast Vernon County School District? Who will be able to build in rural Vernon County with a California size property tax levy?

* Are we using common sense to obligate the Northeast Vernon County School District taxpayers at a time when the United States is facing financial Armageddon? The $14.3 trillion national debt is unsustainable and will force major alterations for the future of this country. Is this the time to incur additional debt that could be a millstone around the necks of taxpayers?

* Politicians in both parties are talking about major cuts in Social Security and Medicare, if not their elimination. Is this the time to obligate senior citizens on fixed incomes that are in the hands of politicians looking for ways to fix the debt problems of America?

* Should the taxpayers of the Northeast Vernon County School District fall in lock-step with the spend and tax philosophy that has plunged America into the deepest economic meltdown since the Great Depression?

* There are a number of Christian schools that are competing for students in the Northeast Vernon County School District. Parents in this district are already sending their children to Nevada and elsewhere. With a shrinking school population it does not take a lot of common sense to know that the future of the Northeast Vernon County District is operating on borrowed time.

* In the 1950s many, or most, of the one room schools of the Northeast Vernon County District were consolidated into Schell City and Walker, much to the dismay of the parents in these small school districts.

Time brings lots of change. What goes around comes around. Now it is time for these two major districts to lay aside differences and long standing rivalries and allow Walker to become the single consolidated school for all the students in the Northeast Vernon County District. If this is found to be unacceptable, then bus the students to Nevada, Appleton City, and El Dorado Springs where the cost of education is lower than the current operating costs of Northeast Vernon County School District.

Finally, has there been an audit made of how current revenues are being appropriated? What would a close audit of future costs to this district reveal? How many hidden costs are not even known? How soon will it be before the district appeals to the voters for even more money? Are we digging ourselves into a financial hole that has no bottom?

Now is the time for common sense to prevail in the Northeast Vernon County School District. Now is the time to say "No" to Proposition S on Aug. 3.

Becky Vance

Schell City