In Roundup we need a new elementary school to replace the 100-year-old structure that over the summer was bolted together to prevent it from tumbling apart as a result of a century of settling ground. We need a new building. No one argues the need.
But when schools need a new building, the community votes to decide whether to raise its taxes to pay for the new building. When building mill levies fail, as our previous one did, it is not due to the voters' failure to see a need for the funds. It is because voting to raise your own taxes is too hard. Taxes are high, times are hard, and here's a tax — the levy — that you actually get to vote on; for many, it is that simple.
Experts at all levels of government, year after year, attempt to define the ultimate "problem with education." The Billings Gazette nailed it on their Aug. 23 front with its headline: "New $80M federal courthouse quietly opens for business."
Schools quietly open for business every day, doing their jobs just as the Justice Department does its job. Do you remember voting on the building levy to raise your taxes to pay for the new $80M federal courthouse? No? Me neither. They needed a new building; they built it. No bake sales, no raffles. Needed it; built it.
Government "experts" want to fix the problem with education? Spend less money pondering the problem and paying other experts to ponder the problem and fund education at the grassroots level. It's elementary.