4024 Virginia AV

Shoreview, MN 55126

August 14, 2003



To the Editor:


ďLevy is a BandAidĒ


The Mounds View School District has projected shortfalls of $5.4 million, $9.8 million and $14.7 million per year beginning in 2004-2005.The proposed levy (property tax increase) will produce $6.3 million annually.Even with the increased revenue there are projected deficits of $3.5 million in 2005-2006 and $8.4 million in 2006-2007.While lowered activity fees and smaller class sizes may be evident in 2004-2005 if the levy passes, where will the other millions be found in succeeding years?How does a parent or child make an education plan when future instructional quality andcurriculum options are uncertain?†† Mounds View District residents are already paying higher property taxes from the 1989 operating levy and the 1999 bond referendum, and now are being asked to pay more.If more and more local money thrown at the budget continues to leave an increasing deficit perhaps levies are notthe solution. The levy is inconsistent with the Governorís pledge to not raise taxes.Maybe the Governor should have been open to raising taxes statewide to help all children and all districts.His commitment was to leave education harmless, but are we not putting children at risk on a district-by- district basis? Where is the education safety net for all Minnesota children?Perhaps itís time for a more rigorous and public examination of the true costs of education, and a voice and a commitment from educators, taxpayers and legislators on how best to manage those costs.The success or failure of district-specific levies is not the long-term solution for Minnesota education and itís clearly not the solution for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 in Mounds View.





John F. Leeper

612.804.5550 (Cell)

612.492.4316 (Work)