Mid-Prairie school board members got an up-close look at methamphetomine Monday when Washington County Chief Deputy Jack Dillon gave his fellow board members a report on the “drug of choice” in …
Mid-Prairie school board members got an up-close look at methamphetomine Monday when Washington County Chief Deputy Jack Dillon gave his fellow board members a report on the “drug of choice” in the county.
In fact, he even had a $350 (street value) sample for members to examine, as well as photographs of a recent “drug bust” that confiscated more than 22 lbs. of meth (street value, $711,000) and a drawer full of cash.
Stressing that “it’s not an epidemic out there,” Dillon nonetheless warned, “Meth is out there and it is more prevalent than many believe.”
He said that meth has “become the drug of choice,” largely because it is “relatively cheap (compared to cocaine or heroin) and provides a quick high that can last up to 14 hours.”
Interestingly, price for the drug varies “with where you are in the county. It goes for $1,200 an ounce in the south part and $1,600 in the north part.”
Dillon noted that “lots of labs have sprung up,” especially in rural areas where “they use chicken coops, hog barns, anything they can find to cook their stuff.” He added that is a very volatile drug and “often things blow up.”
He said that authorities know that there is a direct connection from Mexico through the southwest and into Iowa for the drug.
“Why Iowa?” asked Board President Tracy Anderson.
“We don’t know,” said Dillon, although there has been speculation that the rural nature of Iowa could be a factor.
Board members agreed it is a problem that has to be faced and also agreed that “lecturing” to students probably is not the way to inform them.
“The students know about it, but each one thinks nothing bad is going to happen to them,” said Hilary Shalla, student representative to the board.
Board members set 7:30 p.m., January 25 for a Public Hearing on the proposed Instructional Support Levy. Approval came after a lengthy discussion about patrons’ views about the plan.
A committee member told the board “there is a lot of negative feeling out there,” much of it related to the $5.4 million bond issue. Because of cost overruns and other problems, some items in the original school improvement plan had to be deleted and some residents “have been unhappy about that.”
Funding for the Instructional Support Levy would be primarily from an income tax surcharge and a very low property tax asking. In fact, Superintendent Gordon Cook indicated Monday that the property tax portion would be something like five cents per $l,000 valuation.
Cook also said that the issue will go to the district voters March 16.
The actual percentage and specifics about the levy will be determined at the public hearing.
Prior to the levy discussion, board members reviewed the district’s financial report where it was noted that some areas are at 70 percent spending.
However, it also was noted that several thousand dollars have come to the district from parent and booster group fundraising efforts, including $3,000 that helped purchase five computers for the Middle School.
In other business, the board:
•held a first reading of board policies regarding instructional materials and the procedure for objection to such materials.
•received a report about changes in Iowa Code 279, regarding staff evaluations. Cook said it was an item that needed to be discussed again.
•approved a resolution opposing private school vouchers and tuition tax breaks, a move urged by the IASB.
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