Letters to the Editor

Letter | Fact check on school bond proposal

I had a bit of time this morning to review the "Facts" that are outlined in Vol. 13, #2, March 2012 of the MISD News.
On background, some of the questions I would be asking about these facts are:
1 - How confident is the School Board of their enrollment projects?
  • Is the projection the School Board's best guess?
  • Is there a statistical analysis (e.g. confidence internval testing) that support the numbers?
  • How do these numbers compare w/ other area School Districts' enrollment projections?
  • If experts were hired, are those reports available for review?
2 - Use of the levy rates (p. 4) chart is misleading, because the "Fact" relevant to taxpayers is what is the dollar amount of taxes I'm going to pay.  If the average assessed value of a home in all of these school districts was the same, then the chart would be useful.  But if I live in a 3,000 sq foot home that costs $900,000 on Mercer Island, and a similar home costs $600,000 in Kent, and the levy rate is the same, the MI home would bear 50% in actual taxes ($). Thus, one would expect that the higher-priced real estate areas to have a lower tax rate, and a casual observation suggests that.  However, the MISD never makes that simple connection, and I believe does a disservice to its' constituency.
3 - Timing
All of these "Facts" were known at least two, if not more, months ago.  Why does the District wait till just before the election to publish?  What is their agenda?
I would hope the MI Reporter, representing the average voter, will not let these "Facts" go unchallenged.
Peter Struck


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