Thursday, February 22, 2024

MY TURN: Another modest proposal

by JOHN JOHNSON/Guest Opinion
| March 11, 2023 1:00 AM

I read with some sadness and resignation the My Turn by Ms. Lippert. Then, I consulted my property tax bill and noticed the number of school bond levies on there as opposed to the other taxes for municipal services. My question to Ms. Lippert and the rest of the levy supporters is this: How much more of my honest-earned wealth do you and your people feel you are entitled to? You mention campus security, but I fail to recall any articles in The Press documenting problems at the schools which would necessitate such measures as you have proposed. What are you not telling the voters? Are there real problems being swept under the carpet?

When my family and I arrived here over seven years ago, our property taxes were $1,860 per year. They are now $2,860 per year. The single biggest increase on our tax bill has been for your levies. For those of us who retired here and are on fixed incomes, our budgets are stretched that much further. Since the Gem State, thanks to former Governor Andrus, does not have a Proposition 13 property tax formula as Californians voted for back in 1978, we seniors are not protected from the continued encroachment on our fixed incomes by Karens, Beta Males, self-serving political hacks and other remoras from the local body politic.

So how about this modest proposal? Grant writing. Instead of you picking our pockets one more time for “school security upgrades,” put your talented grant writers to work and ask those who reside at Mordor-On-The-Potomac to send you Biden Bucks to upgrade your systems. They could attach the money as a rider to one of their Ukraine Aid spending sprees. Seriously, with all the tragic and unnecessary school shootings over the past many years, it should not be a problem for some agency affiliated with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to steer you in the right direction. I am positive the school district would receive the help needed to implement such a federal grant from Congressman Fulcher’s office or from Senator Crapo.

The constant mantra of “for the children” is wearing thin. The shame of the government schools in Kootenai County is the lower and lower SAT scores and other, un-talked about and unpublicized dysfunctional situations which parents discuss with one another in casual conversations. I worked as a teacher's aide at a local high school in Kootenai County for the 2016-17 school year. I have plenty of unpleasant anecdotes which would take up a lot more space. That is for another time. It is no coincidence enrollment is increasing in charter schools, STEM academies, home school co-ops and private religious schools county-wide. I will not throw my good money after bad. Get busy on your grant writing, as I and others are voting no.

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John Johnson is a Post Falls resident, retired peace officer and retired school teacher.