|To the Editor: Board needs to live within its budget|
|Written by Bonnie Redmon|
|Thursday, 25 April 2013 08:48|
How much is enough?
We all want outstanding schools. They are the foundation of any community. The question becomes, how much funding is enough?
In the private sector, the cost of goods and services is set by supply and demand. When GM's products get too expensive, customers buy elsewhere. Private sector unions are fine because they are offset by competition. Employees always feel they are underpaid; that is nature. However, supply and demand drives what someone receives.
Unlike with the private sector, in government there is no competition to keep costs in check. Hence the abundance of inefficiencies in government - it goes unpunished as long as money is available.
When a school district wastes money on cashed in sick leave, and picks up the employee share of pension contributions for administrators, what is in place to punish that inefficiency? Nothing. What is in place to require school personnel to contribute a fair share to their health insurance? Nothing. Government employee pursuit of higher pay and benefits is without end, but citizen's ability to pay has limits.
We had 1,000 qualified candidates for 10 open positions last year. So during the recent Great Recession, was it appropriate to go from 6 to 80 highly paid personnel (over $80,000/year)? Unfortunately, the Board's response is simply, "No problem, we'll just raise taxes." Under the current system, as the student population drops, costs continue to go up. We are now very close to having the cost of educating K-12 children exceed college costs. The system is broken. Taxpayers should not be viewed as a bottomless pit of money.
The only thing that limits how much we spend on our schools is how much we provide. It is an economic law that employees will always seek a larger portion of the pie. We must require efficiency and insist that money is spent only on what benefits children; but need to understand that requests for more money will never end.
Enough! Only you can impose limits! Make the board live within a budget. Join me in voting no on the school tax levy.
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