REGINA LIERMANN: Questions raised on Challenger program
Concerned taxpayers should attend school board meetings to question how their board is reacting to a proposal for a Challenger Science Center that would drain $1 per student from each participating school district.
The group supporting the center is visiting school districts within an hour’s driving distance from their proposed Indiana County site to gain support for their endeavor.
The Indiana Area and Homer-Center school districts have already tied taxpayers’ dollars to this entity, which will seek grant money to build and fund their enterprise. In their presentation at Apollo-Ridge, they said they hope to eventually add an Omni-Max theater. We already have an Omni-Max theater at the Carnegie Science Center, where school buses or individuals can travel if dollars are available.
What is your school district doing about this? Marion Center does not appear to have signed up to the plan yet. Attend school board meetings now, and you will also find out how your school district is handling this proposed project, along with how your taxes are being affected by present school district costs and possible budget increases.
At my Apollo-Ridge school board meeting on May 20, a school director asked representatives of the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education organization, what would happen if they did not get their government grant money after our board had given them $1 per student. Would the money be returned? They gave no assurance that they could guarantee it would be returned. Keep in mind their board is not elected, but appointed. Who is responsible if dollars are not returned or used improperly?
Armstrong School District, which plans to raise their residents’ taxes, has meetings coming up where this group could be attending to request dollars. Public meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (open caucus) and Monday, June 10 (voting meeting), in the Armstrong administration building.
Attend your school board meeting. Find out what your school district is doing with your money!