We can breath a sigh of relief now that the County Commissioners have come to their senses and removed the three year Public Safety levy off of May's ballot. It is amazing that when properly motivated the commissioners could find the needed money that was there all along. Apparently, it was just in a different account they weren't allowed to touch without the Governor's permission. Imagine that. Government regulation getting in the way of being able to govern. Laughable if it wasn't so sad.
So now it's the Klamath Falls City School District's turn. They don't have enough teachers and their text books are old and outdated. Well who has been in charge the past ten years to let such a thing happen? We're supposed to pretend that the powers in charge just found themselves in this situation by no one's fault. It just happened. And now the taxpayer needs to dig deep into their pockets to help the City Schools out (again).
We need to remember that the district receives around $10,000/student per year from the county, state and federal government. If a class room has 22 students it means that class room gets funding of $220,000 each year. If the average teacher's salary & benefits package is $100,000, there is still $120,000/class room per year to account for. Seems one could buy new text books every month with that amount of cash!
In 2008, a New Jersey school district was receiving $21,000/student per year. And as you probably have guessed, the school district didn't have enough money, they needed more, just a little more.
Well let's say it together: ENOUGH!!! If the school district can't manage on funding of $10,000/ student per year, then the entire leadership should be fired. That's an enormous amount of money, and no matter the amount, it is always never enough — government needs just a little more. It's amazing that a local private school only costs around $5,500/student per year. And that doesn't take into consideration comparing the quality of education between private and public schools.
Look, we need reason to come back to the table. What is going on right now is insane. Just ask for the costs of city schools from 1990, 2000 and 2010, and you'll immediately see the problem: costs. Schools have been fortunate that revenues have been able to keep pace with these increasing costs, but at some point there needs to be a real plan of action to control costs. It's like if a dike broke on Upper Klamath Lake and water started rushing into the nearby neighborhoods. To seek cover people would go to the second floor of their houses, but the water keeps rising so they climb to the roof, but the water keeps coming. Unless the water stops rising, the people are sunk. And so too are we unless we demand public schools put forth a real plan that shows how they will stop the rise of their spending tide.
The problem is no one is talking about the real problem: costs. Instead we're told that the problem can be fixed if they get just a little more. Just a three year levy. Just $0.50/$1,000. All of these are lies because it doesn't solve any real problem it only masks it for three years when they come calling for more. Stand up Klamath. Time to say, ENOUGH!!! Time to demand a manageable, sustainable cost structure instead of blaming the problem on lack of revenues. Until we do, we have no one to blame but ourselves.