At the request of many Republican delegates, voters, and local leaders, the Iron County Republican Party is taking a greater role in informing voters about non-partisan elections. Below are some issues the Iron County Executive Committee came to a consensus on.
Note: Due to Congressman Chris Stewart’s resignation, and the special election for Congressional District 2, election night will be held on November 21st.
The Iron County School District is presenting a debt bond proposal of approximately $70 million, with about half of the funds allocated for the construction of a new elementary school.
However, it is our contention that the School District should instead prioritize and await the availability of the Charter School alternative. Recently, a K-8 Charter School was approved with the option to expand to a full K-12 school.
Charter School facilities are fully funded by State funds at no-cost to Iron County taxpayers. They are tuition free and public – open and available to all families. Additionally, the enrollment in Charter Schools relies entirely on existing State funds, eliminating the need for property taxes to sustain ongoing operations.
Charter Schools, unique as tuition-free public institutions managed by parents rather than politicians, provide a platform for tailored and distinctive learning experiences beyond the scope of conventional district offerings. Embracing this option is projected to introduce a steady influx of $3 million in new State funding, stemming from the enrollment of students who are currently not utilizing district schools.
This decision presents a clear contrast: between a property tax increase and the advent of new State funding into our County, and between a choice steered by parents and one controlled by politicians. Opting against the bond not only prevents property tax hikes but also nurtures the introduction of fresh State funds and offers an array of parent-run alternatives.
In addition to the Charter School offering almost immediate relief to classrooms, the entire world, including America and Utah specifically, is facing a “depopulation bomb.” The minimum sustainable replacement rate for a society is 2.1, most of the world is at or below 1.9, and Utah fell below replacement rate in 2021, and California is at 1.5. this is a serious issue that few people seem to be discussing, but this resource is available for others to consider: https://www.ppic.org/blog/californias-plunging-birth-rates/
Yes, Utah’s population is growing, but it’s largely not young families that are moving in, as young families tend to have a very difficult time affording to live in Iron County. Already Washington County is considering closing Coral Cliffs Elementary due to lack of in-person enrollment. The majority of our growth seems to largely be retired residents from California and Nevada. That means more people paying property taxes who aren’t enrolling their children in the school, or in other words, more “free” revenue for the school district.
Lastly, the Utah School Choice bill passed this year and goes into effect next September, which gives public school teachers a pay raise, and makes tax dollars ($8,000 per student) follow the child. This means more parents will be able to afford homeschool, charter school, or private school than ever before. This also will allow teachers to get jobs with private or charter schools, negotiate different salaries based on performance, so it’s a win for teachers and students alike.
We wholeheartedly encourage you to oppose the proposed bond, guided by these compelling reasons and more. The rash approach to implement this new bond, when the previous one is expiring, in order to hide the impacts from residents, is not the ideal approach as it relates to transparency and accountability. This now or never mentality is irresponsible and an abdication of the fiduciary responsibility to be wise and transparent money managers.