It’s the week we traditionally vote for school board members and annual levies to support our public schools, but if voters in our unscientific Question of the Week poll had their way, the vote wouldn’t take place until next month.
Last week we asked, “should school board and levy elections be moved from May to June to coincide with the primary election date?” As of late Friday afternoon, our online poll had received 167 votes from those who believe the school elections should be moved to June to coincide with the primary election date, and only 25 votes from those who think the school elections should stay in the first week of May.
Regardless of when the school elections take place, it’s in all of our interest to vote. In that case, that means getting out to the polls tomorrow and making selections for school board and for proposed levy increases for elementary and high schools.
Here’s some of the comments we received on the question from those who took a moment to share their thoughts:
- “No. With the exception of the dropout creep, which is cyclical, the Helena community consensus is that its school system is doing a fine job. Moving the election date dilutes the heavy pragmatic teacher May vote allowing a larger politically partisan June vote. While there is evidence of the wisdom of groups, one needs to consider which groups are wise. Ask not which group is the more egalitarian but which is the more informed. An election date change will save money but will sink scholarship.”
- “Absolutely! Public schools exist only because of tax revenues that to a large extent come from local taxpayers. The simple reason that school administrators are so reluctant to consolidate school elections with primary elections is fear, not, as they allege, any insurmountable challenges of deferring for one month their final approval of budgets and contracts. What are they so afraid of? High voter turnouts? If schools must depend on low voter turnouts to pass their proposed levies and pad the board, we’re in deep trouble.”
- “Yes, why not? It seems like a no-brainer to me, unless someone can find a good reason not to.”