Thursday, April 03, 2008

Compliance with Shakedown Is Bad News for Taxpayers

And the other shoe drops. The shakedown is complete. The Omaha School District recoups its legal fees and doesn't have to sink more money into what was likely to be a losing battle. Again, you must dig way into the Omaha World-Herald news story to find the most important part.

After State Senator Lavon Heidemann, chairman of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, noted that state aid to local K-12 schools (school aid) will surge above $1 billion in 2010-11, a 30% increase from where it is now, the news story turned back to State Senator Ron Raikes, chairman of the Legislature's Education Committee and champion of the school aid system:

Raikes, sponsor of the bill, said the coming increases should be expected. The school finance bill makes some changes that curb aid increases for just one year, Raikes said. Other changes -- such as new funding for rapidly growing school districts -- will take effect in coming years. "I don't think that should surprise anybody," he said. "I think that was part of the negotiations."

Get it? We nicked a few small, rural districts and accommodated the larger districts that were suing us, but the formula is going to go right on churning out funding increases of two or three times the inflation rate.

The school aid formula is not brought under control. State leaders are playing at the fringes of the problem.

I hope my chart reproduces well in this blog. I think if you click on the chart it will be blown up so you can see it. I'll be talking about it this week on Check with Chip.

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