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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for May 3, 2011

Letters and comments for May 3, 2011

Letters and comments for May 3, 2011

Support option levy

To the Editor:

I don’t like the idea of more taxes, and even though I disagree with the current method of funding our schools, we need to take a long, hard look at the local option levy proposed by the La Grande School District.

Currently, the state allocates a per student amount for each student in a district. Except that isn’t quite accurate. Some students get additional funds, like English as a Second Language, or even pregnant students, with schools receiving 1.5 or even twice the amount per individual for students who fit certain situations. 

La Grande doesn’t have many students that fit into these “additional payment” categories. Several years ago, the state decided to further “unlevel” the playing field by allowing local option levies to be added to local school districts, without loss of state payment and even allocate additional funds to those districts that have a local option levy.

Pendleton took the opportunity and passed one of these many years ago. Thus many of the programs that La Grande has had to discontinue, have survived in the Pendleton School District.

We need to level the playing field for our students. We need to be able to offer those extras that help keep the at-risk kids in school. We need athletics and activities. Please help our youth get off to a good start. Vote yes for the local option levy.

Joel Hasse

La Grande

Schools are important

To the Editor:

Over the past several years, the La Grande School District has taken large reductions in their funding level from the state while maintaining a quality program for our students. The district is now asking local taxpayers to help preserve this educational level by voting for the local option levy tax. Although higher taxes are not desirable, neither is a lower standard of education.

Due to the state testing standards in mathematics, reading, writing, social studies and science, the current textbooks do not correlate with the information needed for our students to master these required tests. As a past school board member, I know when funds are tight new textbook adoptions are usually one of the first items eliminated from budgets. This issue has finally caught up with our school district and our children are the ones who suffer from these outdated instructional materials.

These funds would also be used to retain current staff levels, therefore, keeping the student/teacher ratio at an acceptable level without a reduction of school days.

Realizing our city is trying to retain and grow our business community thus allowing renewed employment and economic growth and stability, excellent schools make a definite impact on achieving this goal. One of the first things any new business looks at in a potential relocation is the importance the local people place on their schools. Let’s show prospective companies we care about our young people and our schools.

I urge you to vote yes on the local option levy for La Grande public schools.

Mary Ann Misener

La Grande

Costly ‘experiment’

To the Editor:

Another calf kill by the wolves, again on private property. Coyotes have also killed calves this year. Are they learning from the wolves or are they being pressured by the wolves to change their behavior?

The live calf elk count is the lowest in over 40 years! So far this grand experiment has cost over a million dollars, while our schools struggle and we try to hold onto our nursing home.

If you are as frustrated as our group is, please send your donations to the Wallowa County Stockgrowers Education Committee. It can be dropped off or mailed to the OSU Extension office in Enterprise.

Ramona Phillips


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