I started with an Eagles Loss. Today is about the winners that went on. I haven’t been doing a blog for public consumption for very long, but long enough to be told by several folks that I needed to have a blog address that had universal appeal — so this is the continuation of what I started over on tesd2009. It’s not just about TESD, which (for those hitting this by searching other topics) stands for Tredyffrin Easttown School District. I’ve moved all the posts from the other site, but the comments didn’t come with us….so please feel free to post your comments again — or add a new one!
Today’s title is Super Bowl Sunday, relying on the dollar sign for the S because like School Spending…(which also uses dollars rather liberally), the Super Bowl is a big dollar event. It’s not for fans — it’s for corporate spenders. I’m sure there are a whole bunch of die-hard Steelers fans in bars all over Tampa — who didn’t have quite the cash to pony up for a ticket (and not many places they could buy one if they wanted). I’m guessing since the Cardinals did not sell out their early play-off games that not a bunch of Arizona fans made the trip to (not quite as sunny) Florida. Here’s the point — things we want seem to be getting more out of reach — because other people set the price. A good public education starts to be out of reach, because the costs of living in a good district become less affordable. “Excellence” in education does not come cheap.
So what does that have to do with the purpose of this blog? Values, I guess. School Spending is important — and it’s put into the hands of school board members who are elected to do a pretty thank-less volunteer job of attending meetings and in our local district’s case, to decide how to tax for and spend $100,000,000+ a year……….yikes. No wonder they claim that tax increases will only cost the average household $178 a year — because when you look at the big number, $178 isn’t really that much (except that’s the NEW amount …. not the whole tax!!)
So — for those migrating here from my previous site, I have some work to do just to get the information in place to start analyzing. I’m not going to just talk about TESD, though they are the reason I have developed the interest in the process. I was on that school board for 3 terms — 1991-2002. That means I left 6 years ago — and the tax rate was 12.03 . This year, it will be somewhere around 17.66 (that would be the cap max — which they have said will be what they do) — or 47% increase. That’s pretty hefty for a period of time that has virtually no significant inflation. Of course, there are lots of reasons — enrollment increases, collective bargaining increases, “time in the job” increases, infrastructure maintenance and upgrades….the same thing that affects us all.
So — I will move on from here. I’m going to assume (and you know the danger in that word) that we all share some common values — that we want the best for our children, but that we don’t think that the “best” is always a result of more.
I love using quotes (rely on them really) because they remind us that our observations are not all that innovative or remarkable — we’ve been there before:
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. Aristotle