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Only about 30 in state will seek tax levy referendums.
Dang. Now that my kids are through public school I was looking forward to being one of those tight-fisted cranky oldsters who vote against school referendums because they don't have kids in them anymore.
"When you consider the cost of day care, we're just asking for about $65 a year," Silva said of the estimated yearly impact on property taxes if the referendum is approved. ---- Two things Superintendent Silva: 1) All day kindergarten should not be day care. 2) The $65 per year is going to be paid by everyone in St. Paul not just the parents that are getting the "cheap" kindergarten/daycare. If the $30 million is just to bring down the cost of daycare for the approximately 3,000 kindergarteners the actual cost is close to $10,000 per pupil. It seems the Superintendent should pay more attention to her talking points. I am for the referendum but sad that the leader of the second largest school district in the state can't articulate a better argument.
Before you ask for more tax dollars, how about you disclose your spending practices?
Oh, that's right. Unions are involved so no disclosure.
I think it is more, that schools don't want to deal with a high voter turn out which would probably mean more of the levies would fail. It isn't that "they don't want their message lost in a presidential election" Why do they feel they need to lie to us, do they think we are that stupid?
"should pay more attention to her talking points".... I would agree that everyone should. The reference to the cost of day care compared to kindergarten was not intended to say that kindergarten was day care. It was used to compare the two costs. The old story about what a teacher makes is the classic example as some complained about the teacher's salary, and the teacher said he/she would work for the same pay as a babysitter. When you do the math, guess how much that teacher of 30 classroom kids should be paid? As for "everyone paying" my kids are through school, but I see the value in kindergarten and preschool programs for our community and have no problem supporting them. As for the person commenting about unions and full disclosure, the unions have nothing to do with the budget expenditures, but the school board does. That would be members of the community, is public information if you take the initiative to go look at the budget, and if all else fails, I suggest you run for the school board. You will get an education in a hurry about expenditures.
Further, if you do not like the fact that a school is asking for more money, why don't you sit down, and urge Pawlenty to write to state legislators to encourage them to pay back the money they borrowed from the schools? What's that? You think that would be a waste of time? Are we talking about the payback or Pawlenty?
Here's an example of spending practices in a typical school district. I've been teaching science for 26 years. Between 1987-1991 I had a budget of about $2400 to spend on 140 middle school science students. That amount has shrunk to about $400 & my students #s have swelled to 180. Do the math & figure out if our spending practices are becoming more wasteful.
They've asked for more money every year for the last 30 years. I think they're out of lame excuses. Spending is up significantly and test scores are down. Where's the correlation between spending and student scores? There is none. However, there are more administrators, diversity coordinators, better teacher pay and benefits packages, higher salaries for failed superintendants, payouts, etc. Yet year after year all we hear is, "It's for the kids." Seems to me it goes everywhere except to the kids.
I find Silva's argument disappointing, too. First, tax payers are spending way more than $65/student. That is only the increase that SPPS is asking for in this one referendum, not all the tax dollars going to SPPS. Second, since schools aren't running on a day that mirrors parents' work days, these same families will continue to pay for care before and after school in many instances. Finally, pitting needed high quality services against each other is just wrong.
Referendums from and for only the local district should be illegal on their face. the legislature is constitutionally charged with establishing AND MAINTAINING a unifrom system of schools. There is not possible way of doing this with whimful local referendums, dependant on will and property base taxing potential. This is probably going to be the straw that brings constitutional adherance to the vision of legislators eventually.
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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