To The Editor:
As a local individual who has functioned as a career financial executive, I am appalled at the proposal for the school board to again be asking the voters to sign a blank check and support additional spending for schools at a time when most everyone in the community has been required to cut back on their spending and living standards. The majority of the families represented by the children attending these schools have been affected either by unemployment, underemployment or fixed cutbacks in their incomes.
In a recent USA Today article, it was published that the overall population is growing at its slowest rate since the mid-1940s. William Frey, a demographer at the Brooking Institute, states, “We don’t foresee a youth boom anytime soon.” Census data released confirms that the youth population is shrinking for the first time in a generation. With a reducing forecast, where’s the need to spend for expansion?
It makes sense to address funds to maintain our present structure, but to keep spending on additional expansion just doesn’t seem proper in these economical times. Sounds like a “spend and tax program.” Sound familiar?
When you talk about getting the voters involved so they better understand the purpose of again submitting the tax increase, where’s the news releases explaining cuts and reductions the school has accomplished with these tough times? A high percentage of families have all had to do some belt tightening with the increased costs of gasoline and food items just to stay even.
I’m quite sure you and your appointed committees are aware that funding is generated from taxes on appraised values of our homes. There is no property on the books that would sell for what they calculate our taxes on. Ask any professional real estate individual. They refuse to adjust the appraised numbers to real values because of the reduced amount it would generate. Then true dollars available would have to be taken into account. What programs have been reduced or eliminated to adjust to school operating rising costs? Has any of the staff, teachers or support personnel taken a reduced pay adjustment, cut or freeze with the increased costs affecting the schools? I don’t think so, I haven’t read about any such measures. In fact, just the opposite.
I would like to see a monthly report in the paper identifying the particular cuts and reductions being implemented. The voters need to read justifications before more tax and spending is applied.
Maybe then, we could anticipate a true balanced budget of operations for our school programs.
When you get serious about truly addressing bare-bones existence as most of us have had to do, then the voters will begin to listen and can make a decision to support something sensible.
This is not the time to resubmit your “dream” plan for a tax increase bond issue. The vote is and should be no thanks.
Let’s maintain what we have, keeping in mind today’s economic levels that are affecting all voting families.
Editor’s Note: Name withheld per request.