Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pine-Richland School Board wants to build more?

I was shocked when I saw a few weeks ago an article about the Pine-Richland School District looking to raise taxes. I was mostly shocked because the make up of the Board is 100% Republican. As I read through the article I knew there has to be a catch as to why Republicans might have to raise taxes. It is the Democrats fault!!

"This is the cause of mismanagement by the state government," Rich Herko, board vice president, said. "And this is not a surprise to the legislatures, even when they reduced our contribution to the PSERS, they soft-pedaled it and kicked it down the lane.

"State legislatures and our governor (Ed Rendell) have done nothing about it and don't intend to do anything about it either. They don't view it as their problem -- they see it as the school districts' problem."

I love that it couldn't possibly by the fault of the school board. It is all the fault of a lame duck governor and a Democratic State House majority of the last 3 years. I'm sure the Republican controlled Senate has nothing to do with it when blaming the State Government.

I can understand that government and schools are expensive and costs will go up as time goes on, but I couldn't help but wonder why the state's amount of support became such a small percentage of the budget. So I wanted to look at how much the local school board has raised the budget in the last 5 years. In 2004-2005 the budget was $44.9 million. This year they are proposing a budget of $66.6 million. In times when government are doing everything to cut back this fiscally conservative school board has raised their budget by 48% in just a few years.

I have no problem with cost of government going up to some degree. It is bound to happen. I do have major issues when local elected officials rail against the federal government and state government for partisan issues while at same time they can't keep their own pocketbooks in order. At a time when governments are trying to cut back, Pine-Richland school district builds a fancy upper elementary building to make parents in Suburbia feel safer because their kids will just be around kids their own age. Did anyone look at what the transportation costs are to have 3 school buildings that service the entire geographic school district before they built an "upper elementary school"?

To top off these Republican comments about property tax raises, (that aren't their fault) the school board is looking to add a $30 million dollar addition to a school. So next time one of these school board members tells you something about how much Democrats are all about taxing and spending, ask them why they feel the need to tax and spend on a special interest that they care about so deeply.

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