Friday, March 05, 2010

This being America, it's too bad we aren't allowed to vote on it. Are the little people outraged yet?

I prefer option two, below, which our new school superintendent has chosen not to attempt.

A referendum would permit a person like me, who has no children of his own, to nonetheless vote with my wallet in favor of the principle of secular public education, because I believe that secular public education is one significant hallmark of a diverse and civilized society. I do not believe that a diverse and civil society is furthered by fragmentation into various tax-supported Madrasahs.

My guess is that in terms of property tax, it would cost me a dollar a day for the entire year to keep neighborhood schools open. A referendum would also permit us to identify quite clerely who supports a diverse and civil society, and who isn't sure. This would be instructive, allowing us a chance to debate openly the nature of selfishness as furthered by tax "rebellion."
Superintendent asking board to close four schools, by Chris Morris (Tribune).

Option two would have been to go to the public with a referendum to raise property taxes — which would have been on average of $225 a year on a $100,000 house ...


Archie said...

The school board gave only 3 alternatives: fire 78 people (mostly teachers), raise taxes, or close schools. This myopic view of the available options is very disappointing.

Several options exist to reduce the budget shortfall, which have not been considered by the administration. More broad-minded options could simultaneously minimize impacts to the education system while achieving the required budget reductions. (e.g. ~1.8 million in budget cuts and a property tax increase of only ~$100/100K, which together meet your goal without closing schools).

What a concept! Not option A, B, or C, but a common sense approach utilizing a combination of options to minimize the impact!

Randy said...

The issue has been framed. It will be extremely difficult to crack open that frame.

And from what I can tell, a referendum to increase local school funding via property tax would do nothing to reopen 4 community schools. I'm told the expansion of Galena was one of the moving forces for the last such referendum. So much for that.