A group of East Valley School District residents is actively campaigning against the bond issue and proposed revisioning changes.
A Facebook page, “East Valley – Citizens for Accountable Education,” has been launched for people to air their opinions and raise awareness of the issues. Some have posted that people they know are looking for homes outside the district because of the plan. Other posters said they didn’t think it was right the district is going ahead with the reorganization even if the bond fails – a clear statement of voter disapproval.
Some have posted that they hear bad language when they visit the middle schools and worry about violent fights that take place between eighth-grade boys. Someone on Facebook stated they didn’t feel East Valley had the money to make the changes if the bond failed. Some state they feel the district isn’t doing enough to find ways to fix the existing problems in the buildings.
Art Tupper is a retired sixth-grade teacher and community member who has been speaking out against the re-visioning plan the past several months.
He has said in the past the buildings are in major need of an upgrade and opening the new K-8 schools would discourage voters from approving the bond. He also felt that putting younger students in proximity to older ones will expose them to drugs and alcohol at an earlier age.
“The current bullying and knife incident in the Coeur d’Alene middle school shows us that creating a PK-8 structure in East Valley introduces PK-5 students influences such as bullying, drugs and alcohol to our primary students,” he said.
He said he still feels the same way today, and is getting ready to launch a “no” campaign with help from the organization that campaigned against Central Valley’s and Mead’s school bonds last month.
“Our signs are coming soon,” Tupper said.
Tupper said the economy isn’t getting any better and increasing the tax rate in East Valley is a bad idea. He also doesn’t feel the district would receive the $32.5 million in matching funds from the state, given the news of the state’s budget woes.
“What bothers me is that in face of the bad losses in Central Valley and Mead, they went ahead and put the East Valley bond on the ballot.”
He said he has voted in favor of bonds in the past, but can’t do it this time.
“I don’t think the voters expect to pay for the construction of 40 new classrooms and four costly gyms during hard economic times,” Tupper said. “Truly, we just don’t have the money to pay for the district’s needless wants.”