Jordan School Board rethinking tax hike

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WEST JORDAN -- The Jordan School District Board of Education has another week to rethink the proposed 40 percent tax increase, and taxpayers are hoping board members will consider some of their suggestions.

Among those suggestions:

  • Putting students on double sessions to offset a property tax hike
  • Imposing a head tax
  • Placing all schools on year-round schedules
  • Cutting travel for administrators and board members
  • Consider moving to a trimester system
  • Even raising class sizes -- something parents have long fought against

"Teachers have a real problem with that too, because it becomes more classroom management than classroom teaching," said Jordan District spokeswoman Melinda Colton.

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Taxpayers also suggested eliminating the Board of Education salaries, cutting three to five school days, considering a four-day week, not paying teachers for preparation days, furloughing and using more of the fund balance.

Right now, the fund totals $14.5 million, $6 million of which is already being used toward the $33 million deficit.

"You've got $17 million a month we're spending on payroll. Our fund balance will no longer even cover one month of payroll, so heaven forbid we have any kind of an emergency," Colton said.

Another suggestion is cutting administrators' salaries. Taxpayers pointed specifically at the superintendent who makes $237,000 a year--more than any other superintendent in the state.

"You look at these smaller expenses, and $200,000 in the scheme of $33 million, it doesn't seem like a lot. They're looking at who's the highest-paid person, and human nature is 'let's get rid of them.' Well, that's a superintendent who has 38 years in the system," Colton said.

How likely is it that the board will adopt any of these suggestions? Colton says the only way to do so is to cut work days and increase class sizes, because that's more money that goes into the budget.


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Courtney Orton


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