Guest Editorial: Yes2ourstudents, LLC means NO

Based on my previous letter to the editor, several community members have asked my opinion on the school board applicants and the VOTE NO yellow signs in opposition of the school bond.

Meisner

First, I support the incumbents, for this election cycle who are Craig Plank, Amelia McKie, Dr. Cheryl Caution-Parker, and James Manning.

There is forward momentum that should not be disrupted by bringing in new board members for this election cycle. It takes a while for a board member to get up to speed and these folks have been working on getting district two back on track so changing horses in the middle of the race may not be a good idea. Above all else, our board elections should do no harm to the students.

Second, I am the registered agent (with the S.C. Secretary of State) for Yes2ourstudents, LLC and to be clear, Yes2ourstudents, LLC opposes the school bond and any further indebtedness until the previous bonds are paid off and the district hires fiscally responsible leaders.

The VOTE NO signs adequately express the opinion of Yes2ourstudents, LLC. A NO VOTE is in fact saying yes to our students.

It is my opinion that the district should inform the public that it has not yet borrowed funds already available to it under state law. An amount, which equals up to 10 percent of the assessed value of the properties, located in the district. For example, state law allows the district to borrow $10,000 for every $100,000 of property assessed. I am sure you have all noticed the growth in the northeast which corresponds to a growth in the amount of money the districts can access, yet they want more.

Importantly, if the bond passes, the district can still borrow the 10 percent. As such, a NO VOTE for the bond, benefits our students immediately because the district can borrow the 10 percent without mortgaging the future of parents and the students.

There is only so much tax money to go around, and if we, as a community, allow district two, to continue in an unbridled spending spree, our students will no doubt suffer. Our students will join their parents as indentured servants of a fiscally irresponsible school district.

This bond will immediately hurt the most vulnerable in our community e.g. those citizens renting their homes and retirees on fixed incomes. In fact, several landlords, have said they have no other choice but to raise rents if the bond passes because Richland County Council has already made landlords and business owners primarily responsible for paying for our schools.

As a community, we have not fully paid for the previous three bonds, can we really afford a fourth?

I am personally offended that the district has used the security of our students to gain favor for the bond when there are simple security measures the district should have already employed such as an FBI “deep dive” on the personal backgrounds of substitute teachers, and others that have control over the schools and therefore, the students.

A NO VOTE for the bond is the right vote for our student’s future.


Rhonda Meisner, Richland 2 Parent