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A few questions on the process were raised by the MVSD Board and Superintendent. Of course there are many important questions – about the process, legality, wording, and legal impact of this draft initiative. In other words if they were to “endorse” this draft initiative what are they signing on to? This is a very legitimate question because education law and funding is absurdly complex and no one can understand it all!

Fortunately the State has addressed this problem with specific procedures and safeguards in the process which address these questions.

The initial petition is a proposed DRAFT, which requires 20 signatures. It then goes to the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State MUST send the draft to the State Attorney General (AG). The AG has a staff of attorneys who specialize in this process. They are required to review the initiative DRAFT and provide their comments, objections, and suggestions regarding all the legal issues and interactions with existing law and the initiative and balloting process. The AG has 20 days from the filing with the Secretary of State to provide this written information in a document to those who did the filing.

This document is then reviewed by the filers, who may choose to adopt or reject any of the suggestions of the AG report and analysis. The draft may be amended, modified, or even scrapped if good legal cause is shown to do so. The filers are notrequired to follow any recommendation, and may ignore or reject it entirely. However, whatever response is chosen, the filers are fully aware and informed, and go forward with all the information they need with the assistance of the state attorneys.

It can thus be seen that the local school boards are NOT being asked to make legal judgments or decisions . Their only task is to decide on a POLICY question. That POLICY question is:

Woulditbebetterforyourschooldistricttogetthesametotalfunding(current state funding PLUS the levy amounts state wide) from the state directly, and abolish the levy election system?” YES or NO?

We suggest the answer to that question is a resounding YES.

Joshua Palken & Melina Palken

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