The Davis County School Board has voted to "work for the defeat" of the tax initiatives, despite charges by initiative supporters the board is illegally spending taxpayer money to spread inaccurate information about the cuts.
The board voted 4-1 at a Tuesday night meeting to approve a resolution calling for a plan to distribute information about how the tax initiatives would affect the district and work for its defeat."We feel we have a responsibility as guardians of this district's education to let those facts be known," Board Member Henry Heath said.
Board Member Louenda Downs voted against the measure because she believes the school board shouldn't be telling people how to vote.
The school board also unanimously approved a resolution asking the Utah School Board Association delegate convention to demand legislators pass a resolution against the initiatives during an upcoming special session. Last month, the board passed a resolution allowing school administrators to talk about the tax initiatives
Melza Gramoll, a Bountiful resident and tax initiative supporter, told the board she doesn't want the school district to use taxpayer money tofight the initiatives.
"I do resent your using my tax dollars to push your conclusions, which I have studied and have arrived at my own conclusions. My taxes are being used to further your ideas and I feel that would not be good for our state," Gramoll said. "Do not use my money to further your causes."
Gramoll disputed the $15 million to $17 million figurethe district says it will have to cut from its budget if the initiatives pass. The figure is much closer to $5.1 million, she said.
The district budget has increased 196 percent over a 10-year period ending in 1986. During the same time the population only increased 30 percent and income increased 99 percent, Gramoll said.
"You can't run a private business this way or you are in bankruptcy court," she said.
She said teachers were using children to politicize the initiatives. She told how one child was told to tell a parent to vote against the initiatives.
Superintendent Richard Kendell said he believes the estimated cut to the district budget is accurate based on projections by the State Tax Commission.
"Even those who are very much in favor of the tax initiatives agree that the impact as it is now written would be $185 million dollars not the $80 million," Kendell said,
Ray Briscoe, school board member, said even the tax initiative supporters estimated cuts would hurt schools.