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Petition to force vote on Mason City Schools Instructional Support Levy ready to be signed

Mason City School Administration Building
Mason City School Administration Building

MASON CITY – A group of concerned Mason City taxpayers has gone to Cerro Gordo County Auditor Ken Kline and had a petition drawn up to attempt to force a vote by Mason City voters on approval of an Instructional Support Levy (ISL) proposed by the Mason City School Board.

The Mason City School Board in March approved an Instructional Support Levy.  The levy becomes valid by the board’s action unless a petition is submitted asking for the matter to be resolved by Mason City voters.

To force a vote on the ISL, a petition with 594 valid signatures must be submitted to the Mason City School Board Secretary by April 15th.  The number of signatures required is derived from the number of voters in the last school board election.  Out of 20,762 eligible voters in Mason City at the 2011 election, 1,977 – or 9.52% – showed up to vote.  By law, 30% of 1,977 voters in the last election – 594 – is required to make the petition valid.

Mason City is one of the few school districts in the state of Iowa with no Instruction Support levy at this time.  According to the Iowa Association of School Boards, the Instructional support program is miscellaneous income to the school district of up to 10 percent of the regular program cost in the form of property tax and state aid or property tax income surtax and state aid.

The Mason City School Board has also indicated that it intends to impose a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy as well, due to what they say are severe budget cuts at the state level.  According to the Mason City School Board, state cuts will continue to lower the tax rate Mason City property owners pay, from about $15.11 per $100,000 of valuation in 2011-2012 to $13.31 in 2012-2013 and further to $11.44 next year, costing the district millions.

It was not immediately known if both levies – the ISL and the PPEL – would end up on the same ballot, or when an election might be held if the petition garners enough signatures.

Interested citizens may download the ISL petition here and sign it and then drop it off at the Mason City School Administration Building with the School Board Secretary, located at 1515 S. Pennsylvania Ave. 

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Wait a minute, so all of you VOTE NO people think that we should not support our youth, what NONE of you get is that this money would help our STUDENTS! God, why does everyone seem to find something to complain about. Our school district here in Mason City seems to be doing a great job and telling them they don’t need more money (at a time when they need it more than ever) is just stupid and selfish.

What about a shrinking enrollment don’t you understand? We have been spending more and more money while getting less and less. Where is all the monies collect by the state/feds going to?

wait-I raised my kids and now you can raise yours. Just do not ask for any more of my money so you can waste it on remodeling. What about the computers that they just had to have last time or else the kids wouldn’t know how to use one? It is B.S. like that that is the problem. Cut back on wages and benefits and you won’t have a problem. What part of less kids means less money required is so hard for you to understand?

VOTE NO-they have more than enough money. Cut some wages and other wasteful practices (all operations have waste). VOTE NO.

The money for the insructional levy does not go to pay salaries or benefits!!! If people would just read once and awhile and stop bitching– when they have no idea of what they are talking about. I am all about free speech– but get your facts straight. And, stop whining about people that make more money than you do. Geez– Anita Michich is a phenomenal administrator and $ 175,000 is a bargain for someone who works 365 days per year, 2 school districts, and has the responsibility of your children in her hands.

If you want to whine go ahead — if you want to better yourself– go to college, and get a PHD like Anita Michich. Pay back 100,000 in student loans, and work your way up from the bottom to superintendent.. If you think you should be paid that kind of money with a GED or HS diploma to say “” Would u like fries with that?” Well, u are dreaming. And, I would say that most people are just jealous. But those are the very ones that can afford to pay $ 7.00 for a pack of cigarettes — $ 210.00 per month if u just smoke one pack. 2 smokers in the household– $ 420– you could make a rent or mortgage payment. And, then I hear you talk about not being able to afford rent, food and clothes for your kids, etc.

Think about the big picture!!!

Works 365 days a year, Now that’s funny!!!!!

I say vote no, but have to get the petitions signed first. That’s odd, we hand in the petitions at the school. Just my conspiracy type mind working overtime I guess but I would hate to see a few get lost and then not have enough to go to a vote.

A teacher contract is for 146 DAYS -NOT 180 !!!

Teacher contracts are for 190 days. Please know what you are talking about before you post. Thanks.

Over the last 3 years I have taken up to 25% pay cut. Seriously. I managed. I had to make better choices and not live as “fat” as I was. It sucked but I did it. There’s NO REASON they can’t take pay cuts. A lot of people have had too. They are NOT above it. VOTE NO.

How about a wage and benefit freeze? Then I would think about it. Plenty of money in the general fund if raises would stop every year.
Give the private sector a break.

Many many of those “so called” 50% of kids recieving free meals have parents who do not own homes and are not “taxpayers”. Most are on welfare assist and their welfare isn’t taxed and many have low enough wages that they get tax refunds plus EIC. Not slamming them. Just pointing out that the “taxpayers” are the people making enough money to not need assistance. I’m retired but I don’t mind paying a share to help kids stay up to date with needed supplies etc..

@anonymous-I have no problem helping kids either but, when the school system pays the wages it does and builds multi-million dollar school additions one year and then wants more money the next year you really have to think if they care about the kids or is it about ego? To have done the work at the high school and middle school and not secure the facility is gross mismanagement. They waste thousands and then want more, more, more. Make them stay within a budget like the rest of us. Less students=less money, but, less money needed and they just want more. Vote NO.

What does a person’s personal budget have to do with how much they should earn? I thought wages were according to ability to perform and type of job/job responsibility. But hey what do I know…I’m just a stupid troll.
I wonder how many of those saying no would do the job of two people yet get paid for only the wage of one.

NO MORE MONEY-VOTE NO.

The only way I will vote yes on this is that every school employee takes a 1% pay cut for every $ 10,000 they make so if you make 50k you take a 5% pay cut, 75k 7.5% its easy math and it would save a lot and prolly wouldnt hurt much for the schllo employee. Try it for a couple of years and if its too much than vote for a levy. Maso City folks are are all hurting and with over half the kids on free lunches and free busing it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

Anita is the problem here. This is not Des Moines. This is not one of her ritzy suburbs. She needs to go and we need a superintendent that cares about the children in the schools and the community that pays the taxes for those children. All she cares about is her big fat paycheck!

You are just a person who is jealous of another person’s education, abilities, and paycheck. Because you are stuck in a low-paying job that doesn’t require a PHD doesn’t mean that someone who is in her 60’s and has spent her career getting educated, learning to use words you probably wouldn’t recognize, phrases you wouldn’t understand, and sentences you couldn’t comprehend shouldn’t be earning $175,000 per year. You have no idea what her job and her responsibilities encompass. You likely think you could do the same job for $50,000. Ha! And have you forgotten that Dr. Micich grew up as a small-town girl in Klemme? Don’t be so quick to classify her as a ritzy suburb woman. She came from a small town and it’s hard to take the small town out of a girl.

@Katie the list of low paying jobs that Anita can’t do is very long but you seem to think that just because these people didn’t go to college they shouldn’t make as much as they do.

Using a class size of 20.
$50,000/180 days/20 students/8 hrs/day/ea. child =$1.7366666/hr/child.
$1.74 per hour to be responsible for another parent’s child isn’t overpaid. imo
Would any of you teach for $1.75/hr. after spending $1000 for a 4 yr. college education to be qualified for the job?
Or even WANT the job?

correction $1000’s not $1000.

Boo hoo. Vote no on public school cash grab.

The amount of children has no relevance, most people don’t get paid on piece count produced…so the math should read $50,000/180 days/7 hours a day(8:30-3:30 does not equal 8 hours)= $39.68 per hour

A teacher is responsible for “each” child’s education. Each one is different hence they must teach each as an individual. They are responsible for each so are paid per each. Not as a whole. #39.68 per whole breaks down to my “per child ” figure.

does not school start at 830 and end at 330? I know I went to public school but is that not 7 hours?

The kids might have those start times but teachers are “on duty” at other times. Nights for instance to correct papers or plan for the next day. They pay out of pocket for many supplies for their classroom projects or supplies in general.
How much would you want to do their job of being responsible for the education of 20 kids? It’s not just teaching. They must also guide and discipline. Not all kids (and some parents) are receptive to learning. So it’s not “a piece of cake” like a babysitting job would be.
I was poor growing up and one of my teachers used to bring me her daughters outgrown dresses. God Bless her.

Teachers work on class lessons and projects most nights and many weekends but no one wants to give them credit for that. Every person that calls for a wage cut or freeze should call their employer and tell them how times are tough and they should be working for less.

More money-More money – the cry of the fat bird – Never migrates -always here and on your back -Opps I mean in your wallet !

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