A-A PERL election scheduled for Mar. 2nd

Friday, February 12, 2021

A PERL (Public Education & Recreation Levy) special election for the Alta-Aurelia School District will take place Tuesday March 2. “It gives us the authority to levy for the PERL if we win,” A-A School Superintendent William Walters said at the February. 8 school board meeting.

He said this stream of revenue is needed because we cannot pay for playgrounds or community education out of management funds. If the initiative passes, benefits will include the ability to pay for parks and recreation projects and equipment, community and continuing education to include art classes and instructors, and partnering with the cities of Alta and Aurelia. “We have the facilities to certainly host community education opportunities,” he said.

“Changes in property taxes will be minimal. The district can adjust other tax levies to make the PERL property tax neutral. We can adjust what we’re levying for and make it where we’re not raising taxes to levy these dollars. What we do is minimal. The calculation is very simple,” Walters said. Residents can go on the County Assessor’s website to view their property values, then calculate the tax increase.

He emphasized it is not a levy just for the Alta playground. “That’s not the case. It’s both communities and we’ll get that out there and make sure everybody understands it’s both Alta and Aurelia.”

“It’s a nice revenue source, and we only have to do the election once,” he said. “Once it gets approved, it’s ours until we decide not to. We don’t have to levy it every year.”

Comments from Walters and board members included, “It’s about keeping our school district functioning, the PERL would help us do a little bit more, and it just gives us one more way to get money where it needs to go.”

In other school board news -

Walters received information from high school and middle school principals about failures this school year. “It has not increased at a number that is significant. We’re doing pretty well. The kids are still getting it done,” he said, adding that the elementary schools are also doing well. He believes the teachers are really working to keep up with test scores considering COVID.

The Alta Elementary School playground is planned to be removed in February, and when the ground is good, the new playground will be installed. “We’re in good shape. Our kids and community will have a nice new playground,” Walters said.

Aurelia Middle School has completed winter screening. The only scores that lag are for middle school reading, the principal said.

Some test scores for 1st and 2nd graders were somewhat low at Alta Elementary School and math scores overall were very good, the principal said.

Board members voted unanimously to purchase two new dishwashers, one each for the Aurelia and Alta kitchens. The cost for both is $38,332 and will come from the nutrition fund which Walters said is robust. “It’s a good investment. It needs to happen.”

Walters discussed his position on COVID-19 protocols. “We will continue with what it is we’re doing. I told the staff, just be prepared to do it the rest of the school year, and the kids, too. They get it. They’re resilient. I think everybody understands it. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.

The A-A High School prom is scheduled for April. 24th.