Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Letters to the editor Sept. 14

| September 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Charter school law

I write to express concerns regarding the implementation of House Bill 562 in Montana, which addresses the establishment of charter schools.

The ongoing constitutional challenge to HB 562 raises questions about the law’s stability. Clarity and consistency in education policies are essential for our students.

The potential diversion of public education funding to the choice school system, as raised in the lawsuit, is a matter of public interest. Equitable allocation of resources ensures equal opportunities for all students.

The provision in the law granting exemptions to choice schools from existing state education laws warrants scrutiny to maintain educational standards and student well-being.

The expedited timeline for new choice schools to open in fall 2024 raises concerns about planning and oversight. Adequate preparation and accountability are vital.

The partisan divide in selecting commission members and the opposition of some leaders suggest polarization. Bipartisan solutions and consensus-building are crucial in education policy.

Lastly, the involvement of organizations like the Frontier Institute in crafting the legislation raises questions about external influence. Policies must prioritize students’ well-being.

I urge elected representatives to consider these concerns and engage in open discussions about HB 562’s implications. Informed and thoughtful discussions are essential for our students and Montana’s educational future.

Thank you for providing a platform for community concerns. Informed dialogue is key to sound decision-making in education.

— Angela Burns, Kalispell

Rebate scam

OK, armed and ready, I sat down with a computer, a postcard and letter from Gov. Greg Gianforte and two letters from his revenue department on how to get a property tax rebate.

Logged on to the website and bonk: What’s a geocode?

Frustrated, I set the paperwork aside. Days later, thought I’d try again and Googled, “What is a Montana Geocode?”

Good ole Google took me to a website with four pages of instructions on how to get the code necessary to complete an application for a tax rebate.

Adding more paperwork to the pile, I found the 17-digit code and started the application again.

Hmmm. I was asked to fill out more numbers and data from papers that the revenue department mailed to me or already knows about me. What infuriates me most is a request to verify that my claim is not fraudulent. Then they ask for my email and cell phone number. Wrapping up, I could print my claim was accepted; who has a printer?

What happened to the Republican Party that touts less government, lower taxes and privacy? Gone, apparently.

Gianforte raised my taxes, created red tape and took personal information. What a scam.

— Jan Lombardi, Seeley Lake