Dear friends and neighbors,

During the recession, lawmakers temporarily hiked the amount of money schools could raise through property tax levies so that school districts could survive possible statewide funding cuts. This temporary increase is set to expire at the end of August 2017, posing a serious problem for school districts that rely on local levies to pay for teachers and extracurricular programs.

In the short term, I support extending this deadline out another year so school districts won’t lose their much-relied on local levy funds and can plan their upcoming budgets with some certainty.

However, in the long run, more needs to be done to support schools, like those in the 5th Legislative District, that benefit from local levies.

The Supreme Court has called for the Legislature to drastically reform the way our schools are funded, especially in regard to reliance on local levies. I firmly believe that local levies are a crucial and important part of how we fund our schools. If a local community wants to put more money into its schools, it should have the right to do so and the state shouldn’t stand in its way.

Voters in the 5th District have consistently approved local school levies. As a result, we have some of the best teachers in the state, outstanding graduation rates and state-of-the-art facilities. Let’s get creative and find a way to make local levies a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.