Voters Have Spoken
EIGHT IS Enough was a popular television show in the 1970s and 80s. It is also appropriate phraseology in regards to the Bellaire School District.
The Bellaire Board of Education placed a funding request on Tuesday’s primary ballot for the eighth successive election. And for the eighth straight time, voters rejected the issue.
The latest try came in the form of a 5.91-mill levy for five years to meet the emergency requirements of the district. The was defeated by a vote of 970 against to 751 in favor.
A similar levy failed in November with a vote of 1,349 against to 1,154 in favor. In last year’s primary election, the school district had asked voters to pass a larger 8.25-mill levy, and it was rejected with a vote of 1,039 to 842.
District voters also turned thumbs down on an 8.7-mill levy request in November 2012; 1-percent income tax issues in May and November 2011; and 12.9-mill levy requests in May and November 2010.
When Bellaire school officials made their initial request, the district was mired in debt, totaling more than $3 million. Thanks to extensive staff reductions and a complete financial turnaround with its food service program, the district has perched itself on the threshold of exiting the state loan fund.
For that, district officials deserve credit.
The levy revenue was not targeted to pay debt but rather to re-establish several programs that fell victim to the cutbacks. Art and music have been cut and district officials hope to reinstate advanced placement English and math classes at the school.
We believe it is time for the Bellaire Board of Education to listen to its voters and halt its levy campaigns. All eight attempts have been solidly defeated.
Moreover, debt is no longer a driving force for such requests. The district has pushed ahead without any new money and appears to have the ability to continue in that direction.