Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The state is passing the buck on public education

The argument has been made that raising taxes is a sure way to kill an already suffering economy. Our voters can’t afford to pay more taxes. We can’t simply pass along costs to our voters. So that’s why we’ve decided to cut public education funding by 7.5 percent.
What’s the effect? In Kuna, anyway, we have higher taxes in the form of a supplemental levy. Students will have to pay to park at the high school. Students will have to pay more money to take advanced placement and concurrent credit courses. Students will have to pay to travel to away sports games and other extracurricular competitions and events. Field trips will be cut drastically. We may send our students to school fewer days.
We haven’t found out yet, but teachers’ pay likely will get cut. Bus drivers already have had their pay cut and it likely will get cut more. We’ve cut administrative positions and are cutting hours next year.
In Melba, they’ve killed the music program.
Here’s the point: The costs are getting passed down, whether the state Legislature says so or not. The taxpayers are paying for this one way or the other. Cutting employee pay and taking money out of students’ families’ pockets to pay for basics, in the end, hurts the economy, whether state legislators say so or not.

You can read more of this opinion in my Editor's Notebook in this week's Kuna Melba News.

No comments: