KARE 11 Reports: Tough Time For A Tax Increase

Yes 281 may have gone to KARE to help in their money grabbing effort. But KARE said it all in their story’s title, and included 281 CARE’s response in their report (with video).

Here’s the transcript:

While teachers at the Robbinsdale area schools are conducting business as usual the superintendent, Stank (that’s KARE’s spelling, not mine) Mack, knows that in less than 30 days his schools’ future will go to the voters yet again. “It is a very difficult issue there is no question about it,” Mack said Thursday.

On November 4th the taxpayers in the Robbinsdale area school district will be asked, yet again, to approve a referendum granting 9.4 million dollars to the district’s 17 schools. While Mack says it is a must to vote yes, it will be a difficult decision for voters who are already strapped by a troubled economy. “We are paddling an even stronger issue when it comes to the national economy,” Mack said.

The referendum, according Mack, would reduce class size and provide a lifeline to extra-curricular activities like band and athletics. But Ron Stoffel, an organizer for the vote no movement, says this is no time to be asking taxpayers for more money. “I think people are not going to look favorably to a tax increase because the taxes have gone up already with the gas tax,” Stoffel said. Mack says this referendum must pass for the 12,600 students in his district to even be competitive with kids in the neighboring Wayzata and Hopkins school districts and that he is putting his faith in the voters. “I am cautiously optimistic and I think there is grassroots support,” Mack said. But last year that support wasn’t enough to pass the referendum presented to voters in 2007. It failed by a little less than 900 votes.

We citizens are doing without extras because of high gas, heating and food prices, higher taxes statewide while our retirement funds shrink before our eyes. But “Stank” Mack wants 9.4 million dollars of taxpayer money to save “extra curricular activities?”

Note: be sure to read the comments below the KARE transcript. This one in particular calls out the extra curricular nonsense:

You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, especially when the turnips don’t have solid financial roots these days.  It costs money to bring a referendum on the ballot. There were districts last year who literally spent thousands “studying” whether there would be voter support, thousands spent hiring people to lobby and call potential voters. How much that money would have done if it were spent on the kids!
Enough is enough. We talk about holding an individual responsible for looking out for their own, yet every major institution has their hand out – even the conservative ones! Kids in other 1st world countries get quality educations without having after-school activities and school teams.

I think what I’m seeing is that we’re heading toward that kind of system: schools teaching their subjects, and kids doing the extra-curriculars and teams in clubs and gyms that aren’t related in any way to the schools. On their own dime.

I agree that enrichment activities are important – everyone needs a creative outlet. But we’re sadly at a point where we can only afford the essentials. We have to tell the districts to put the bag of Oreos back on the shelf because we only have enough to get the milk right now.

In other words, Vote NO November 4.
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