Cache County School Superintendent Clark Puffer says his district may have to sue the state to make sure students get a fair shake educationally.
Puffer make the comment Friday after a Utah Office of Education official said Cache can get needed school construction money only by raising taxes or persuading the Legislature to spend more money on schools.But Bill Boren, who oversees the state's public school building program, said he does not believe the capital outlay equalization idea pushed by Puffer has a chance with lawmakers.
"The affluent districts are opposed to the idea of chipping in to help the poor districts," he said.
Cache County receives $11 per mill per student from local taxes for capital outlay, while Park City produces $119 per mill per student. The state average is $30.
Puffer said because of low tax valuations and increasing enrollment, children in Cache County are being denied the education available at other districts.
Boren said the state employs equalization for maintenance and operation funds, but "that is probably as much equalization as you will ever see in this state."
School Board President Carol Funk said taxes have been raised twice locally in the past four years.
"Agriculture is our major industry, and with many dairy farmers on the verge of bankruptcy, the last thing they need are higher taxes," she added.
Puffer said the district may have to go to court to ensure Cache children get a proper education despite the district's financial woes.
But Puffer and Funk said they will try to meet with Gov. Norm Bangerter and legislative leaders before taking that measure.