It’s been a busy week round here. I had hoped to get a story in this edition about the Rotary Fall Blood Screening. Unfortunately, I ran out of time. If you are a past participant, and we have your email address, you probably already have received a letter and the forms. If not, watch next week’s paper or in this issue of the Democrat. In the meantime, we are taking registration forms. We have them here in the office and the hospital Lab Dept. has them.
Another item I’m behind on is some articles detailing the 4 constitutional amendments that will be in the November ballot. I hope to have common sense articles detailing exactly what the amendments will do if passed. All too often the wording on such important changes is confusing. I imagine some of that confusion is intentional, but that’s subject for another column. My intent is to sort through that and provide clear concise information so voters can make an intelligent decision.
This much I have already learned: Two of the amendments will directly affect the financing structure of our school systems. Proponents of these amendments would have you initially believe that they would save you tax dollars. We all want lower taxes, so that sound great. Unfortunately, if we save a dime today, my initial research indicates we will pay dearly at some point. As is often the case… only big business and the very rich will probably come out on top.
The legislature dealt public education a major blow by passing measures that take funding from public education to pay for private and online schooling. That measure is still before the Supreme Court. These new initiatives, if passed, would make it impossible for public education to continue anything near its present form. The legislature says they will find another funding source. If I’ve learned anything in the nearly fifty-years I have been behind this desk its… nothing is set in stone when it comes to the legislature. I certainly don’t think they should expect us to “trust them” these days. Their track record says we can do anything but trust them to do what is best for our state and its people.
Maybe that’s why the State Board of Education, which typically doesn’t get into political initiatives, has already came out in opposition to Amendment 2. Both Amendment 2 and 3 are the measures that are drawing the most concern and rightfully so. We need to look at them carefully and determine if the good outlays the bad. So far, I am not convinced that these measures will help anyone except legislative leaders further their political agenda at the expense of our children and grandchildren’s education.