Even as someone who strongly supports general operating referendums to help schools function, I had something to learn at the meeting last Wednesday where Montevideo referendum supporters gathered together.


Even as someone who strongly supports general operating referendums to help schools function, I had something to learn at the meeting last Wednesday where Montevideo referendum supporters gathered together.

As was explained on an information sheet passed around during the meeting, agricultural farmland is not taxed as part of the operating referendum, which has been the case since 2001. Agricultural homestead taxes are based upon the house, garage and one acre of land, it turns out.

A lot of other useful information was passed around at the meeting as well: the loss of the existing operating levy will result in a loss of approximately $806,000 annually, the maximum allowable levy is $1,332,24 per pupil with state aid, while the school is only asking for $700 per pupil unit, the district will only receive about 60 percent of expected state aid during the budget cycle and there will be a projected $1.1 million decline in general education funding over the next four years without an operating levy with projected enrollment declines.

The financial situation the school is in is not a result of poor planning by the district or improper use of funds; this is a crisis going on around the state and country.

More than ever, it is time for local communities to step up to the plate and take the future generations’ education into their own hands — to take responsibility and therefore some due credit for providing the education offered by the great teachers and staff in Montevideo.