As a school district newsletter is readied for publication and brochures are distributed to residents, the Provo School District has made it apparent that it continues to play an active role in the battle against the tax-limitation initiatives.
At the Board of Education meeting Tuesday, members were informed of the tools used in informing district residents about the initiatives that will be on the ballot in November.The PTA is presently taking brochures with information about what programs might be cut to every home in district.
Superintendent James Bergera said: "We are trying to look at some realistic alternatives. We will pass some costs through to parents and patrons with user fees, reduce costs by cutting special services, reduce costs by cutting administration and support services, cuts costs by eliminating programs and defer costs by postponing some repairs and purchases."
He said the district has proposed keeping classes at the present size, because they already are among the largest in the nation.
"We will get this information out, followed by a newsletter containing a statement from the board," he said, almost as if he were preparing for battle.
The board will address the significant achievements that have occurred in the district and will provide data that the district is efficient in terms of dollars spent.
Board member David Weight said the newsletter does not come out with a political statement but takes a positive approach to what can be done to combat the problem the district may face if the initiatives pass.
"We have been responsible not to make threats," he said.
Bergera said the district has made it clear that students not handle soliciting.
"Our discussion with students is only with seniors who are interested in asking questions. They may ask their high school teacher to respond, but the teachers do not make a statement whether they are for or against them. We have not had one call about young children being used in Provo" to solicit votes.
Initiative A would roll back the 1987 state tax increase, restoring sales, income, gasoline and cigarette taxes to 1986 levels. Initiative B would cap property taxes on residential property at 0.75 percent of market value and other property at 1 percent, and would limit growth in state and local governments. Initiative C would give a state income tax credit to parents whose children attend private schools.
Provo School District might have to cut its budget 11.5 percent, or $4.3 million, if the initiatives pass.