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$179 Million Added to Present Public-School Debt ... madness

Aquatic Letter to Summerville Journal Scene
 

$179 million added to present public-school debt … madness!

By The Curmudgeon

Swimming pools, recreational parks, more mega schools, more congestion, more undisciplined politicians and school boards … and more, much more debt and taxation … not a formula for making this area livable, but a sure fire road to insolvency.

Here is the predicament inflation is inevitable because of the sinking dollar.  President Carter’s stagflation is already happening again.

The new District 2’s 2012/2013 budget includes increases in wages that include retirement costs and medical costs, while the regular citizen is scraping pennies and looking for employment.

The new budget referendum includes maintenance expense to replace roofs on schools that are not yet 10 years old and bathrooms that even the children complain. These items evidently were not part of previous budgets.  What happened? Why not?

It’s a mad, mad world in District 2, almost as mad as Obamaism.

One of the most egregious items of the past is using school budget funds to build a road to the new Ashley Ridge High School. Why is it not the county’s responsibility? We already approved a 1% increase tax to cover new roads; that should pay for that expense.

Another was passage of the referendum for alternative funding, later determined to be illegal, yet Greenville and District 2 must pay interest and principal on the bonded debt in the form of renting our own schools.

Much of the following recommendations require the Department of Education’s co-operation and by the governor to change certain state laws.

In order to solve the problem locally, which is only a partial solution to one that will plague us for years, recommend the following to offer students the right to have the funding to provide tax credits for students to whatever school meets the students’ needs – including technical, charter, private, church and home schools. 

Decrease emphasis on athletics and reduce funding for elaborate equipment, buildings and all unnecessary accommodations.

Monster schools added “nice to have curricula,” not needed to graduate and no longer affordable. This includes providing students to do community projects for school credit that will not benefit students to obtain employment.  Students can do that in their Church functions or on their own time. The school time is more important. SC Department of Education needs to reevaluate education verses social experiments. 45 minute teaching periods are too short and need to be returned to one hour periods that are presently devoted to less important curriculum.

Community schools with appropriate classroom space to accommodate 30 students instead of the mandatory 15 student per class located in neighborhoods where the parents, students and teacher can interact instead of in those palaces that house thousands of students with gymnasiums and enormous parking lots dedicated for the students’ automobiles instead of smaller areas for bicycles. The schools could be made of steel construction with attractive facades and relocated if necessary. There are expandable for larger rooms and additions to the buildings could be easily accomplished.

Eliminate the burden of paperwork that overwhelms teachers. Hire only academic grade and high school multi disciplined teachers who have at least knowledge of college math, English grammar and composition; also add at least a rudimentary education in science. Beware of teacher colleges that don’t offer the aforementioned disciplines. Make efforts to hire male teachers. Reduce the number of security monitors. Reduce the number of alternative principals in mega schools and employ them in neighborhood schools having fewer offices, make work reporting requirements, and allows much smaller number of staff assistants. Most Catholic school principals have but one staff assistant.

Hire local mechanics, carpenters, welders, plumbers, and bricklayers, computer experts, to teach in high school technical schools or within their local business accommodations.

Request industry to lend experts to teach short courses and to provide real world experiences. Trust experienced teachers to have total control of discipline and back them up. Eliminate computers for students below the seventh grade level. Students need to know the multiplication tables, to add and subtract without a handheld device. Teach Palmer method. Teach history and civics other than what is in the controlled text books by asking students to do research and use the internet and Google. Use iPod phones for principal to communicate directly as necessary with the District’s Superintendent of schools.

Parents who have no interest in schooling their children can be considered being child abusive.  

Local, small schools in neighborhoods offer an opportunity for closer contact with these parents. 

Remember that to make changes it takes fortitude and desire to limit financing public schools by making major changes to benefit the student, and not overstaffing, Taj Mahals that benefit developer’s pocket books, realtors, building suppliers, the Chamber of Commerce who care nothing for the livability of a once bucolic Summerville burdened with more jammed traffic, more congestion, more pollution.

We can’t spend our way out of debt.

We can’t depend on the Governor, the SC State House and Senate to bail us out of debt and the federal government can’t help to any extent, expect to put us in more debt.

The cost of schools is out of control.

We are on the verge of going over the cliff and financial catastrophe.

 

August 25, 2012

Editor

Summerville Journal Scene

P.O. Box 715

Summerville, S,C 29484

The added Aquatic Center should not be a School budget item; yet, It adds $7 million dollars to the enormous school bonded debts, if the $180 million dollar bond referendum is approved.  Why should just property owners be taxed for this nice-to-have delusional wish list of school District 2’s School Board and Mr. Pye?   Why not spread the burden to all taxing venues?  Realize that the key to the constitution is the right to property ownership and the opposite is to tax property and thereby abort that right.

Allow visitors to pay and developers to pay more than just tokenism, when they select where new schools are to be located near their residential developments, and see how far that suggestion goes. 

It's too easy to create more debt by laying it on property owners and small businesses who will eventually throw in the towel and move to another state that isn't incrementally bleeding the right to property ownership to satisfy developers pocket books and those who profit from increasing the unaffordable creep of the monolithic public school octopus.

Over 70% of all sources of tax collection go to the public school system.  The cost of libraries should not be part of the school budget.  The general population has access to the libraries why should that be exclusively part of the school budget?  The school paid for a special road to facilitate the Ashley Ridge Taj Mahal.  Why?  The Aquatic Center is just one more unaffordable "improvement" that results in more residential development in an overly populated area of the state.  Residential property never pays for itself because of the infrastructure costs, i.e., roads, water and sewer, electricity, etc.  Individual contributions for such projects is the answer - not laying it on property owners.

I’m sick and tired of having my home property tax as the main source for political solutions because of dreamed-up, bloated public schools without going to the bother to investigate  school budgets and dreamed up referendums that impede alternate school choice.  The public school system is not a sacred cow - the most powerful lobby in the county, with power to elect its own politician yes men.  What this system needs is competition that allows the tax money to follow the child to alternative schools or tax credits to families who wish for a better solution for their wards.

Joe Kress/108 Lakeview Drive, Summerville 29485/ Ph: 873-8803