When I reviewed my Oct. 30 edition of the Pioneer I was shocked to see a blatant lie sponsored by the Beltrami County Republican Party at the top of Page A1 next to the masthead.

First, let’s define a lie: “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.”

The GOP’s claim: “ISD 31 REFERENDUM Operating Revenue Increase 155%! Do you know what you are voting for?” In my opinion, that is an untrue statement made with an intent to deceive.

The facts are that the current ISD 31 budget calls for general fund revenues of $71,083,797. This does not include revenue of $10 million for other funds. The referendum would have increased yearly revenues by $2.5 million. This equates to a 3.5% increase overall, not even close to the claimed 155% increase. The Republican claim exceeds the actual by 4,428% or 44 times.

In actuality what would have increased 155% is the per-pupil rate of $180 to $460, which only funds a small percentage of the total operating revenue for the school district.

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Therefore, I believe it was deceptive on the GOP’s part to claim the operating revenue would increase by 155% when that is far from the truth.

In conclusion, there are only two options. The first being, the Beltrami County GOP hates public education so much they resort to lying to destroy it. Or, two, they are so incompetent at math they do not know how to compute a very simple problem.

The referendum lost by only 317 votes out of 7,183. I believe there is a high probability the lie changed the outcome of the election.

On a lighter note, the Beltrami County Republican lie tends to prove two other points: schools should teach ethics and honesty, and schools should teach problem solving and math.

Maybe the GOP should push for adult education at their headquarters instead of ways to combat nonexistent Critical Race Theory.

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