Saturday, October 19, 2002

Have We Been Generous or Stingy With OPS?

It would be easy to vote "yes" on the tax-lid override in the Omaha Public Schools on Nov. 5 if you believed that taxpayers have been mean and stingy with tax funding for school facilities.

You know: the poor little kiddies have to read by candlelight, school walls are fashioned out of hay bales and corncobs, and they have to write with chalk on slates because they can't afford computers.

Look at the facts:

In the 1992-93 school year, total value of the buildings and their contents within OPS was $169.6 million.

By the 2000-01 school year, that had grown to $246.3 million . . . a 45 percent increase in eight years.

Figures are from the OPS annual financial reports posted online by the State Department of Education at http://ess.nde.state.ne.us/SchoolFinance/AFR/search/afr.htm

Taxpayers who vote "no" to still more money for OPS shouldn't feel a bit guilty about it. We've been very generous. The question is, have they been good stewards of our money?

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