Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Don't Be Afraid to Tell 'Em They Have No Clothes

Tomorrow I promise a good word on state education policy enacted by the Nebraska Legislature. Today, though, one more shot at the failure to address the K-12 finance mess.

State leaders are patting themselves on the back for allegedly “fixing” the dysfunctional system the state uses to fund K-12 education. They have done nothing except buy off school districts that sued the state for more money.

While K-12 enrollment remains flat, the state is going to keep sending increasing amounts of tax dollars to local K-12 districts. State aid is going up 9% this year. It’s going to keep climbing like that for years to come. That’s why aid to K-12 education is the largest line item in the state budget.

Why is this happening? Because of the lawsuit by a few school districts? The state supreme court already dismissed a previous lawsuit, saying that state funding of K-12 education is a policy matter to be decided by the state legislature, not the courts.

Don’t let your state leaders throw you, the taxpayer, under the bus by simply throwing more money at the K-12 system.


OmaSteak said...

What else is there to say on the subject of state funding for K-12 education? You'd think some bright young conservative politician would use this and other similar structural state government problems as a base to start building support for a run at the governor's office. Capture some of the excitement Dave Nabity brought to the race without some of the flakier ideas Dave put out there at times. I wonder who that bright young man might be??? Otherwise, isn't it just a classic case of "whizzing into the wind"? Or you could be like lots of Nebraskans nearing retirement...finalizing plans to leave Nebraska behind for much lower tax locations. Will the last Nebraskan to leave please remember to turnout the lights on their way out? LOL!!!

JimEenright said...

THe 20.8 million increase in state aid received by OPS, at the expense of most of the other districts, had best result in REAL test score increases at OPS soon, or the school board should get a superintendent who has a record of improving education. Otherwise, the State Senate should reallocate state aid to give more to the districts that have historically been able to sucessfully utilze the funds and less to OPS to waste.

We are really desperate for property tax relief in Nebraska. School districts eat up 60% of our property taxes, so we won't get too much relief if the school boards don't force districts to cut back, like everybody else in these tough times. Cutting out frills and waste will result in better education because of a return toward the basics.