Monday, February 13, 2006

Holladay School District? (HB77)

I Read in Saturday's Tribune about HB77, which would allow cities to for their own school districts. On eof those cities is Holladay.

I understand the frustration with large school districts like Granite, and I support local control over schools. I'm still undecided on HB77.

One of the cities looking to break away is Holladay City. I think that a Holladay School District is a bad idea for the following reasons:

1) Buildings. Granite School District would probably require the city to buy the schools in the city (or, the city would have to build their own). This requires large sums of money that Holladay just doesn't have. We've already issued large bonds for the Holladay Elementary/New City Hall project, the Tuscany Open Space land, and the Video Verns/Villiage Center project, which will proably reqire even more money to finish. I live 2 blocks from Olympus High School, and land was selling for $600,000/acre six years ago. How much would it cost to buy a high school?

2) Too Much classroom space at Olympus High. Only about half the students at Olympus live in the boundaries. While those students could be routed to Skyline, it would leave Olympus pretty empty.

3) Fleeing Teachers. Most teachers have time invested towards retirement, which the new school distict probably couldn't afford to give them. Also, many substitutes like myself will choose to stay with the Granite district because of the availiablility of work (unless HSD would pay us better).

4) Costs per student up. A new school district requires new Superintenents and other staff, a district HQ, and matinence staff. This would require money from a smaller tax base.


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