I am sad to see the general lack of support for Rapid City education after the failure of the opt-out vote. The impact of this vote will have serious consequences for the students and the community. Cory posts the school board's reaction to the failure of the vote at Dakota Free Press. The school board is exactly correct when it said
"With this 'no' vote on the opt-out, it is time for your School Board toI understand that tax-payers are upset that there will be an increase in taxes and the tax burden is high for those not seeing increases in salaries or real wages. I also understand that there is concern with the amount that administration may be getting paid. I think that those can be legitimate concerns, but not enough to handcuffing your children's future and placing them in a position that they never created.
startdismantling the departments of the school district in our community," School Board President Jim Hansen said. "Unfortunately, the school district alone will not be the loser, but the effects from this 'no' vote, our community will suffer as well."
One of the worst reasons given for not supporting the opt-out is that this will make Pierre listen and do more. Here is one post from the Rapid City Journal that captures this feeling:
I would agree with the thought that we need to improve the pay for the teaching profession here in SD - but I don't think the Opt-Out was the way to go.
Our legislature needs to step up to the plate, and increase our revenue by slightly reducing some tax breaks that have been given to certain groups for decades, cases in point are the break we give the credit card companies, and the Alcohol plants that produce alcohol for gasoline, (a process by the way that doesn't do what it's supposed to do - in my opinion). This list can go on and on....If anyone thinks that this will "send a message to Pierre," then I would like to know why they have not heard all of the other "messages." Even if it sent a message to Pierre, the damage will still be done to the students. The cuts will have to be made, because the school budget for next year has already been established. The earliest that increased funding could come from Pierre is for 2016-2017 school year. What is the school district supposed to do until then?
Local Rapid City are representatives actually tried to use this argument just days before the election.
Four state representatives called today for voters to reject the Rapid City school district's proposed opt–out ofTodd Brink, supporter for the opt-out, summed this illogical thought process when he said:
property taxlimits citing the pending work of a blue ribbon task force examining school funding issues.
"It's ironic that on the eve of the election they would arrive and say 'Let's just wait a year and see what happens in Pierre,' when these are four or our elective representatives that we sent to Pierre to solve these problems and find policy solutions in the past,” he said.I worry about the impact of this result will have on the students. Those in the community that did not vote or voted against it should worry about what will happen when schools have to close, programs disappear, and the district will see those that can leave Rapid City for better educational opportunities in surrounding communities. However, you have no one to blame but yourselves.