The last time Mountain View School District received a millage increase, Ronald Reagan was president, and Ghostbusters was the most popular movie on the big screen. For Supt. Brent Howard, that should tell voters everything they need to know about why an increase is needed in 2021.
“To me, the only two numbers you need to know are 37 years and 28.91 mills,” he said: 37 years since a millage increase was approved and the current rate of 28.91 mills, which is the second lowest in the state.
The one district with a lower millage (28.30) is Lee County, an East Arkansas district with about half as many students as Stone County.
“For Mountain View, a school our size, not having a millage since 1984, to me that’s pretty sad,” Howard told the Leader Friday.
During an informational meeting in the Mountain View High School gym last Thursday, Howard emphasized the successes being realized at all of the county’s three campuses, each of which uniquely serves its community.
“We run three of the best schools in the state of Arkansas. There’s things that work at Rural Special. There’s things that work at Timbo. There’s things that work at Mountain View. I would call that highly successful.”
While operating three campuses is undeniably challenging, it is important not only to the county’s rural communities, but to the whole economy of the area, he explained.
“Worst case scenario, we have to shut two campuses down, 35-40 people lose their jobs, we lose a ton of kids, and we lose those families who have to leave to find jobs,” Howard said Friday.
“If there was a consolidation of one campus, that will not just affect Rural Special and Timbo. That will affect every building we have on every campus.”
“I know people think it’s because we have the two smaller schools, but even if we didn’t have the two smaller schools, Mountain View needs a millage,” he added. Howard and the school board hosted the public meeting last week in preparation for the May 18 school election at which voters will approve or request the district’s request for an 7-mill increase. Along with Michael McBryde, a financial adviser from Stephens Inc., the board fielded questions from the public