Committee Anyone?

Back at the May 3rd school board meeting Superintendent Aldo Sicoli announced that there are a whopping SIX committees to deal with the budget.  Three deal with revenue and three deal with expenditures.  Hmm…here is some advice to the school board and Dr. Sicoli…..

If the school board wants to “enhance revenue” or as we call it “extort more tax dollars” they have three options

  1. Get an increase from the state or the federal government (by the way that is still our money).
  2. Retain more of our own students….currently 28% of district age kids go to a school outside of 281.
  3. Import more kids from other districts (which will probably continue to drive more of our own kids out).

There! I’ve solved the “revenue enhancement” problem in 30 seconds.  So why to we need three committees to do this?  Will one committee do?

As far as dealing with expenditures, I’ll say it again and again and again until this school boards gets this; It doesn’t matter what or where we “cut” if we keep giving the employees more than we are getting in funding!  If we get a 1% increase in funding, we can’t give the employees a 2% increase.  You’d think we’d have learned from General Motors.  Either the Board doesn’t understand this or they figure we aren’t smart enough to understand it.

Though we think Dr. Sicoli has done a much better job than Stan Mack at involving the public, and this may be part of Sicoli’s community outreach, though again, one committee on each will do and don’t we have a financial advisory committee?  What is their job?  We, however, take a REAL CYNICAL view of this and we suspect this may be part of creating a doomsday scenario to justify another referendum.  Don’t laugh, folks.  Our current referendum runs through 2015 but this district passed a 10 year referendum in 2001 and was back for more money in 2007 (and considered coming to us in 2005).

By the way realize that school funding isn’t going up with inflation.  We all know that.  I can also tell you that our wages aren’t going up with inflation either and I assure you I can’t levy my boss.  Our home values are going down while are property taxes keep going up.  This district has passed 37 years worth of referendums since 1990.  Hennepin county has raised taxes 30 of the past 31 years.  Minnesota is one the highest taxed states in the country and we have candidates for governor (we won’t mention their names, if they want their names mentioned they can pay us like they do the TV networks), who want to raise taxes further.  How many times can we go to the well?

Maybe we are totally wrong here.  Maybe there is no sinister motive.  We are just beginning to brace for yet another referendum or the possibility that St. Paul may take away our right to a referendum and insulate public education from economic forces.  We’ll keep you posted on any finding by the committees or if anyone has information on them, feel free to comment.

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