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Letter

For the 2017 school year, we have 99 out-of-district students who pay nothing! That’s 1 in 7 kids in our schools paying nothing, while if your children go into Missoula, you need to pay about $2,000 per year or $10,000 per year for a private school, less of course if they are on scholarship. Since Florence attracts out of district children, this tuition is should be a non issue!

If we followed suit, we would gain an additional $198,000 for our budget. (This would be 25 percent of the principal per year.) With the student-to-teacher ratio of about 15:1, this consists of possible six-plus additional teachers.

Another cost to the Florence taxpayer of a minimum of $195,000 per year. (I am using at super-low $30,000 per teacher!) This of course doesn’t include the addition non-certified staff needed for the 99 addition children. Then we can add at another ½ admin at least costing another $40,000.

The cost to educate a student in Montana is $11,348 minus the ANB money received for a high-school student: $6,691, and the amount the Florence taxpayer is making up is $ 4,657 per student loss (Office of Public Instruction website).

Now multiply that by 99 students and we are short $461,043. But that is not the complete amount we are covering. Add the additional amount of 6.5 teachers and ½ admin and at a minimum you add $195,000 for teachers and $40,000 for administration. That’s another $235,000. We don’t know how many teachers exactly, going off student-to-teacher ratios and no idea how many non-certified staff.

Ninety-nine out-of-district student are costing us approximately $696,043, or divided by 99 equals a burden of $7,030.74 a year for out-of-district students.

Yet the out-of-district parents have the nerve to show up and demand we pass this for their children. Every out-of-district person should not have a right to speak. After all, they are not invested, pay nothing and yet demand. How dare they!

This bond is seriously flawed in so many ways. The math has changed twice as to how much the taxpayers of Florence will be liable for. Has it changed again?

Has the money been secured and at what interest rate. On a principle amount of $800,000 per year, the difference of a point is major and will affect the taxpayers of Florence. With over 30 percent of the Florence Students on the free lunch program, how can their parents in Florence afford another $550 or $950-plus per year as stated in the article two different times. If the out of district people are so verbal, let them put their money where their mouths are, just like the people whom send their children into Missoula.

Finally, have the plans been sent out to bid? When was the last time a school, or state, or government bid has ever come in on budget? How can we trust a person with $15,975,000.00, whom can’t manage what we have now or multiple 12 months times $79 and he answers $600.

My answer is 99 reasons to vote not!

Richard Paris,

Florence

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