Friday, June 09, 2006

District Education and the Rhode Island Legislature

Every town/city in our district is almost at the point of virtual warfare
regarding funding education. Local councils & school committees take the
blame & I have yet to figure out why.
You're between a rock and a hard place. I sometimes feel bad that in this,both sides end up fighting each other. It's not a pleasant thing. It's not like the School Department is blowing money or the town is not supporting education.The real culprit is the state legislature, which is not properly supporting education." Stephen M. Robinson, Newport School Dept., legal adviser, "Newport Daily News", June 9, 2006.
Finally! Someone gets it! Hello, Stephen! While he is from Newport, he could have been from any town in our district or state. I've been to many of these budget hearings and I've never seen a state legislator there, let alone a federal legislator. How much does the fed'l government & their "Many Children Left Behind Act" fund the district? Less than 8%. How much does the State government with their Dept. of Edc. and many mandates fund the district? Between 30-40%. How do we fund the costs that they mandate but don't pay for - the Property Owner through the Statewide property tax bears the brunt.

Funding the school system this way doesn't work! It's leading our district down the pathway of economic ruin and social warfare between our citizenry. It doesn't have to be this way. Funding education primarily through the state is much fairer. The state needs to keep its promise of property tax caps while RAISING district education aid.

"It's not the income tax, or the car tax, or the corporation tax, it's the PROPERTY TAX!"

Merely, mandating that we spend less, doesn't solve the problem. It attacks the symptom, but the same conditions still remain. How do we spend less? What mandate can we forget about? What extra monies will you be giving us that isn't immediately eaten up by extra costs that you've passed on?

BTW-On Sen. Gibbs' legislature web page which is now kept updated (at a q&a session I mentioned that her web page hadn't been updated since a previous election 2 yrs. ago - boy, did that change quickly) she list 24 items of note on her news page. Items referring to low-speed vehicles make the list SEVEN times. How many of you own one of these? You tell me where her interests lie. Want to bet the page changes shortly?

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