May 27, 2002 11:00 pm

Enterprise is a community that cares about its schools. The past two years the school has been hit hard by the reality of declining enrollment and the corresponding loss in revenue from the state. The outlook is much the same for next year. Some programs are in jeopardy because the loss of revenue means layoffs and reduced services. And the prognosis for the state doing anything about the problem isn't good because of the state's loss of revenue due to the economic slowdown and legislators, including our Mark Simmons, who believe school funding and declining enrollment are separate issues. So Enterprise and lots of small towns around Oregon are forced to do what they can on their own. You have to give Enterprise credit. Its citizens are trying to keep their schools viable.

MEASURES 5/47/50 tied the hands of local school districts to do much of anything about addressing operating funds. A couple of months ago the Enterprise School Foundation launched a drive to raise money to preserve some of the programs that are in jeopardy of being cut due to the loss of revenue from declining enrollment. So far the effort is proving successful but still has a long way to go.

And last week Enterprise voters bucked a state apathy trend by getting out the vote and passing a school bond that will address the district's capital needs. The community beat the double majority requirement and passed the bond, which will result in the district being able to issue up to $2.4 million in general obligation bonds. The funds will be used to stop the physical decay of the district's buildings, including re-roofing, heating and ventilation work.

A MAJORITY OF DISTRICT voters realized that the repair and renovation costs aren't going to get any cheaper so they might as well get on with it now.

The community should give itself a pat on the back. It takes guts and a commitment to education and the community's future to do what Enterprise is doing. If only our state leaders had the same.


Seat belts save lives. Tragically, that fact was brought home again last week when a young woman was killed on Highway 82 because she was thrown from a vehicle that rolled. She wasn't wearing a seat belt. The other person in the vehicle was and he was treated for minor injuries.

Oregon's seat belt law isn't just about the state trying to infringe on personal freedoms. Wearing a seat belt can save your life. Too many fatalities occur because people haven't bothered to put them on.

If you know someone who refuses to wear a seat belt, tell them you care about them and wish they would. You never know when your life might depend on the simple act of buckling up.