The recent editorial, "Money Troubles" in the Feb. 9 East Oregonian deserves some clarification, at least as far as the community of Ione attempting to form its own school district is concerned.

The editor states that "the communities considering breaking from the rest of county stand to lose a lot." In the case of Ione considering secession from the school district, that is not the case. State school funding now follows the child. What the Ione community is asking to do is simply take the amount of money generated by their students and use it in their own small school district. Taxpayers won't see any difference on their property or income tax bills because of it.

At the present time, Ione schools enjoy all the disadvantages of being the smallest school in a relatively large school district and none of the advantages of being a small school. While the editor maintains that the "sum is greater than the parts," we find that to be a generalization that does not hold true in every case. We feel that Ione's "factor" in this equation is undervalued. Our school is the center of the community and we feel that an Ione School District would enable us to maintain that relationship much better and longer than the current circumstances would allow.

The community of Ione is simply asking to be able to determine its own fate. Threats of closure or consolidation have dogged the Ione school almost since it became part of the Morrow County School District. As the threats become more insistent, it has become apparent that we have two choices: Fight off challenges every two or three years or establish a school district so that choices are made with the best interests of the Ione students, parents and community in mind.



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