January 21, 2002
Residents will vote on two Riverview District propositions on Feb. 5
by Helen Mellor
Special to the Valley View
On Feb. 5, voters in the Riverview School District will be asked to cast their votes on the following two measures:
Riverview Proposition 1 (Two-Year Maintenance and Operations Levy) - In recent years the state funding for K-12 public education has been averaging 70 percent, which remains about 20 percent below the national average and necessitates public school districts to rely on maintenance and operations levies to supplement their operational budgets.
While the state-mandated standards have been dramatically increasing, the funding allocated by the state fails to support the additional demand. This bi-annually recurring M&O levy customarily picks up where the state allocation leaves off to fund a host of essential services, including additional classroom teachers, librarians, music specialists, P.E. specialists, counselors, gifted and remediation programs, educational assistants, staff training, textbooks, software, library books, extracurricular and athletic programs, coaches and advisors, administrative and other support staff, student transportation and custodial, building and grounds maintenance.
The absence of this levy will severely compromise the overall quality of education in Riverview, as the 20 to 25 percent reduction in the district's annual budget will eliminate staff positions and many programs and services currently provided to our students. This levy proposes $3,930,000 at $2.01 per $1,000 property valuation for the year 2003 and $4,245,000 at $1.98/$1,000 for 2004.
Riverview Proposition 2 (One-year Transportation Levy)- Riverview students deserve reliable bus transportation to and from school, as well as school sponsored out-of-district activities. Two school buses in the district's fleet require replacement at this time. These two buses have been in use since 1977 when they were first built. In addition, new fueling and diagnostic systems need to be installed to optimize the efficienty of the fleet. This levy proposes $216,000 at $.11 per $1,000 property valuation for the year 2003 only.
Even with the passage of both levies, voters should also note that expiring school bonds and expanding the property tax base in the district will result in decreasing tax burden from all active school levies and bonds combined. The projection is as follows: $4.02 per $1,000 for 2002, $3.54 per $1,000 for 2003 and $3.27 per $1,000 for 2004.
Please remember that we all want our children to become responsible, productive and tax-paying citizens of tomorrow.
But first, they need an opportunity to build a solid foundation through proper education. Let us renew our much-needed support for our schools and students on Feb. 5. Children are a priority and they matter in this community.