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Letter to the editor

Rhoades, Harsdorf neglect school issues

October 17, 2008

State Representative Kitty Rhoades and State Senator Sheila Harsdorf are both responsible for the perpetual tension between our public schools and those who pay property taxes. Under the current Rhoades-Harsdorf “going-out-of-business” funding system, the only option for school districts to stay afloat is to gain approval of referenda — a temporary fix — which leaves the funding burden on property owners.

In the mean time, Rhoades and Harsdorf look the other way when two out of three Wisconsin corporations pay absolutely no state taxes.

The result is that several Wisconsin school districts are talking seriously about shutting their doors. Milwaukee Public Schools are exploring the option of dissolving. Last year, two school boards actually voted to close their districts (Florence and Wausaukee) but were put on hold by last-minute successful referenda.

Several others are now publicly talking about dissolution (Washburn, Rio, Montello, Markesan, Wisconsin Heights).

Both Rhoades and Harsdorf voted to give the Transportation Department an 18% increase in funding while voting to give schools a measly 1%. No wonder schools have to go begging. These two legislators would rather fill pot holes with tar than fill the minds of our children with knowledge.

Harlen Menk
Ellsworth