Have you ever wondered why there are so few fiscal conservatives on the local School Board? It simply is not easy to be the voice of reason among people who want to spend every taxpayer dollar they can put their hands on. The person who has the intestinal fortitude to take this task on is a rare breed. However, we do have plenty of people who want all the programs they like without paying more in taxes, fees, or the dreaded school supply donations. Those are the same people who start the screams this time of year over having to purchase school supplies that are actually plots to force them to buy teacher school supplies. There is no plot. It is right there in the school budget if you read it. The materials budget in our district is virtually non-existent. Teachers are not going to teach without these supplies which leave certain basic options, fund raising, corporate donations, parent donations or requests, or teacher’s sinking their own personal budgets to supplement the district’s educational budget.
Just why do we expect others to fund our child’s education when there is a budget shortfall? Why not get involved when there was something that could be done? Do we expect others to handle these issues for us? Should it be the responsibility of older residents in town? Why are you not responsible for making sure the budget is appropriately managed? After all is this not about your kids? Can you really not find a discount school supply sale and find those markers at $.99 instead of the normal retail price of $3.49? I know I have done it for years. I never pay full prices and I always buy the named brands for certain items. Is this really about a few dollars or about a lack of involvement in how your town or city is spending your tax dollars? If you are not involved who do you have to blame?
People talk the game about wanting better education in this City. However, we continue to cut teachers and academic programs while fully funding every competitive sports program offered in this state with parents’ full approval. While parents complain the only action they have ever taken is over being charged. We had near riots over fees imposed for full day Kindergarten, the parents lost. Full day is not mandated. However, the school did back off eliminating the bus fees and reducing the activities fees. We then cut the teaching staff, reducing academic programs while increasing the sports programs that year. No riots in the streets over that. Parents grumbled, but no action taken. It demonstrates what parents’ value.