Tomorrow, our local government is asking two questions by referendum: to raise the cap on spending for education AND to raise property taxes for the school budget.
From Friday WisOpinion:
Between 1999 and 2004, the statewide number of K-12 students in Wisconsin fell by over 1,200. That didnt stop us from hiring more teachers: over the same period, the number of teachers in Wisconsin public schools grew by 2,300. We hired nearly two new teachers for every student we lost. The Madison Metropolitan School District (where officials say they desperately need more money) added 46 teachers while losing 48 students. Their spending per student is over $12,500, yet they say they dont have enough money.
I had a conversation with a father at our kids "Spring Strings Concert" last week. A program for 4th and 5th graders to get music teaching that is "threatened with cancellation" if the referendum does not pass. I was undecided until speaking with him, now I am firmly opposed. The School Board often uses popular programs as "examples" of programs that will have to be cut to push financing increases. Frankly, I am willing to call the bluff.
One more quote from WisOpinion:
Weve had TABOR-like limits on schools for 12 years, and we are spending nearly $11,000 per child. I wonder how much we would be spending without revenue controls. K-12 taxes make up roughly half your property tax bill, and nearly all of your income taxes. Without controls, do you think we would be spending more?
Time to stop the "it's for the children" blackmail....