An increase in local option allowance.
The new U.S. House Representative for our area, Kevin Yoder, supports it.
The local option currently allows for some money raised inside Kansas counties to stay within the county to benefit school districts directly. Even a slight increase in this allowance would benefit our district immeasurably.
And it wouldn’t be just be Blue Valley — Shawnee Mission and Olathe would receive more money as well.
While property taxes would go up if the local option budget were to increase, the fact of the matter is, this is the best option we have to secure more funding for Blue Valley schools.
While most voters probably do not want to see a tax spike, at least we will know where exactly the money goes and who it will impact — Blue Valley students.
The Blue Valley district would no longer experience laundry lists of possible budget cuts year after year. Our music programs would not be at risk for elimination like they were last year.
It would also allow more teaching, substitute, custodial and district office positions to be retained. That means more jobs in all three districts in Johnson County.
An increase in the local option budget was widely supported by nearly every candidate running for a state House or Senate position earlier this year.
The current local option budget cap is set at 30 percent. Even a 1 percent increase would help school districts in our area with budget problems.
Keep in mind — allowing for an increase in the local option budget would not immediately raise taxes.
Voters in the area decide that.
Allowing for an increase on the local option cap only gives voters the right to decide whether or not to raise taxes in our area to benefit schools. A decision to raise taxes would lead to a direct funding increase. The money would stay inside the individual county and go directly to the districts and students inside it.
Think about the programs and opportunities at risk now because of the tight budget our district faces.
Think about not having to face those problems anymore.
The first step to get there is to increase the local option budget cap.
Right now, it seems as if the local option is the best option for Blue Valley.
If Kansas were to allow a local option increase, our district would definitely benefit. Though we are in our last four years as BV students, we should support an increase to the local option cap in an effort to raise education funding.