We are Burley residents and we’d like to respond to the Sound Off published Sept. 3 regarding splitting the Cassia County School District. First and foremost, we’d like to say we wholeheartedly approve of the writer’s idea to split the county schools away from Burley. We are in complete agreement with the idea that folks should pay their own way.
We wonder if the county residents are actually willing to do that. The writer complained that had the bond passed farmers would have paid $1000s more in taxes in support of Burley schools. We wonder how much they would have to pay to support only county schools. It might prove move burdensome than expected. Then again, it’s no secret that federal support is a major source of income in Cassia County and we wonder just how much of a burden the extra taxes would really be. As taxpayers, we think paying your way is a great idea. We feel the same way about our schools. The tax base in the City of Burley is more than adequate to fund the schools here in town and we’d gladly pay our share to support a Burley School District.
We also understand the writer’s criticisms of the recent bonds. Did the writer look at the most recent failed bond and realize that while most of the real growth in student numbers, according to the numbers published by the school district, is in Burley while only half of the money was going to be spent on Burley schools. The rest was distributed around the outlying schools to address mainly wants and not needs. We feel as though the county residents are jealous of Skaggs Field (donated to Burley High School), The King Fine Arts Center (donated to Burley High School), and the new Ag building at Burley High School. (also donated). As residents of Burley we are greatly appreciative of the efforts of local families on behalf of Burley High School. As separate districts, county residents would be free to purchase similar facilities and we wish them well in their endeavors. Even as part of the same district, they could do so now if they chose.
The writer claims to know several school board members. If this is so, we urge the writer to use whatever influence they have with those trustees and get that ball rolling and get the district split into city and county schools. It can’t happen fast enough for us either!