Monday, October 02, 2006
WHY SHOULD SCHOOL BUDGETS INCREASE
AT A RATE FIVE TIMES AS FAST AS OUR STATE'S ECONOMY?
It's perplexing to see people who should know better trashing Initiative 423, the "Stop Overspending" measure, which will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. It wouldn't require cuts in education spending, and might not even require cuts in INCREASES in education spending. Everything would be more grounded in reality, because education spending would at last be tied to the real world as measured by inflation and the actual cost of living. It would end the "carte blanche" that has resulted in so many useless and counter-productive spending programs in our schools.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently showed that Nebraska’s gross state product – a measure of the value of goods and services produced – grew by only 0.9% in 2004. That was the lowest among all 50 states and well below the national average of 4.2 percent growth.
A lot of that is because of the ongoing drought. But I can't think of a single school system that increased its budget by less than 1%. Can you? Most of them are increasing in the range of 5% to 7% per year, no matter what. That isn't exactly a drought. That's a waterfall!
We need to think about data like that federal stat and vote for that Initiative, and not get swept up by irrational, emotional pleadings by the tax-happy big-government types and their cheerleaders to keep the tax spigot wide open.
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