It happened this week: a local school district thought it would get voters to approve of a one-cent sales tax increase to finance the public schools.
The good old boys did not know that a few local citizens had hired the Tea Party’s most successful anti-tax, anti-bond issue local organizer to come to town and design a campaign. He came. He saw. Voters conquered.
By two to one, with 30% of the eligible voters voting, the tax went down to defeat.
It took place in McLean County, Illinois.
“It’s pretty clear people do not want an increase in sales tax,” said Eric Prenzler, chairman of a committee opposing the referendum — the McLean County Citizens Acting for Responsible Education (CARE).
The local school board superintendent, sounding like someone who had been blindsided, spoke out. “We have to figure out what we could have done differently and then see if this is something we want to do again. It’s a concept that takes a lot of time to understand and, obviously, we didn’t do our part to get that conveyed.”
Let me explain this concept to him: Get out of our wallets!
It is always the same refrain after a defeat. “We just did not get our position clear to voters.”
“Of course, were disappointed,” added Lisa Myszka, chairwoman of the McLean County Sales Tax Referendum Committee, which supported the measure. “We understand no one is in favor of a tax, but if we had had the opportunity to speak to each voter and explain to them the benefit of a sales tax over a property tax, we think the results would have been very different. Unfortunately, the result is schools lose out again and once again education is not a priority.”
On the contrary, the voters fully understood their position. That’s why they voted no.
Had the measure passed, 11 school districts in the county would have split anticipated revenues totaling $950,000 annually. Now they will split nothing.
Nice try. Exploding cigar.
It can be done. He does it all the time.
They can't get more income the natural way, which is to serve your neighbor and he pays you according to your work. Theses people need taxation to live because they are useless human debris.
One county in my state has an additional property-based school tax in addition to city & country property tax.
The main paper in our state compared that county's school system with the largest school system in the state.
What the paper found was the additional tax revenue went to more administrators (& assistants to those administrators,) not more teachers or teachers aides or computers or other equipment/technology to be used directly with students in the classroom.
They found that smaller system had more non-teaching staff than the largest school system in the state!
Having at one time myself served on a local school board, it has always amazed me how the math works.
On one hand most communities are growing, with more businesses and residents – and thus a larger and larger tax base.
At the same time we hear sobs and moans about how the school census is declining – fewer babies, fewer children to educate – necessitating (we are told) closure of neighborhood schools, school district consolidation, and bussing.
Lets see – larger tax base, higher property taxes, fewer kids needing to be educated – seems to me public schools are already getting more money and having to do less.
I know – it is the mandated programs handed down by state and federal agencies that drives a lot of expenditure. There simply isn't that much discretionary that a local school board can control.
Herein lies the problem, and the obvious (but politically difficult) solution. Reduce the mandates.
In Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did exactly that, by curtailing the long-abused privileges of the teachers unions of bargaining (forcing) ever-higher staffing costs, while also using the state to forcibly collect their union dues.
The results in Wisconsin have been stunning. School districts that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy are now solvent and expanding. The mass layoffs predicted by the unions never happened. With the easy money gone, the unions are decertifying and leaving Wisconsin in droves.
What Scott Walker has accomplished in Wisconsin should frankly be a model for other states to follow.
The next most effective cure would be to disband and dissolve the entire federal Department of Education, and abandon the whole 'common core' concept of top-down curriculum planning.
I thought the Tea Party was dead. Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. My Pa's saying.
If you're bitching about one penny, you've got way too much time on your hands.
Shane, your argument is, on its face, valid… but when that means one penny on EVERY DOLLAR anyone spends, then its worth bitching about. Revenue of a million dollars was going to come out of the collective pockets of the people in that district. Not acceptible. If I could gert a good hard look at where ALL the money assigned to that district actually goes, I am certain I could balance their budget, AND return a better product to the students in that district. In fact, I'd do it for free… but on a commossion of some tiny percentage of what gets saved over the next ten years. I KNOW I'd never have to lift a finger again in all my days. there is SO MUCH waste in gummint skewls…..
You either make more money than you need or you are under 40.