School boards are not allowed to campaign for referred opt-out measures. But now that Rapid City voters have rejected the school district’s request for six million additional dollars each year for five years to maintain staff and programs, the school board can let fly:
“We the School Board wish to thank all of those in the community who had the vision to vote “yes” and to work to try and make Rapid City a better place,” School Board President Jim Hansen said.
“With this ‘no’ vote on the opt-out, it is time for your School Board to start dismantling the departments of the school district in our community,” School Board President Jim Hansen said. “Unfortunately, the school district alone will not be the loser, but the effects from this ‘no’ vote, our community will suffer as well” [Andrea J. Cook, “Voters Say a Loud ‘No’ to Tax Hike for Schools,” Rapid City Journal, 2015.06.02].
The disappointed school board and voters on either side of the opt-out issue have a chance to air their views again today. In remarkable timing, Governor Dennis Daugaard’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students meets this afternoon and evening in Rapid City at the Ramkota. Educators get to bend the BluRTFTS ears at 2:00 p.m. Businesspeople get their hearing at 4:00 p.m. The general public can talk to BluRTFTS at 6:30 p.m. Local legislators urged Rapid Citians to vote the opt-out down on the promise that BluRTFTS might do something about school funding. Let’s see if those legislators and the voters who listened to them show up at today’s BluRTFTS meetings to urge real action to address the Rapid City schools’ fiscal shortfall.