Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Governor Daniel's Smokescreen

Governor Daniel's recent Indiana speech drew long applause when he stated that Indiana needs "instruction not construction." Who can argue with that! Of course Hoosier parents and educators value instruction over construction.

But here is why that is a complete political smokescreen. All Indiana school construction projects are local projects supported by and paid for by local patrons through local property taxes. At no time has "construction" money ever been available for "instruction." It would be illegal to take "construction" money bonded expressly for construction purposes and spend it on instruction.

You see...the state has not funded its own obligations (instruction) but it wants the locals to quit funding it's responsibilities (construction). It's a smokescreen designed to give the state cover for its own financial difficulties and create a diversion. The locals haven't defaulted on their obligations. Of course the General Assembly has made things more difficult by shoving more and more responsibilities for funding to the local school districts and to local taxpayers. And now they profess concern over rising local tax rates? The formula they created has caused it.

Why should a state legislature tell your local patrons that they cannot build and pay for a local project if they choose to? The Indiana state budget is not 1.6 Billion in the hole because of any local school district's decision to fund a building project.

Smokescreen...that simple.

8 Comments:

At Tuesday, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! I am so sick of his smoke and mirrors tactics! Let's hope our legislators do the right thing!

 
At Tuesday, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitch Daniels has been Governor for OVER a month now -- why hasn't he fixed the $1.6 billion budget deficit? What could possibly be taking so long?

"IPS Superintendent" -- you are obviously highly educated and you seem to have very good ideas, what should he cut from the budget?

 
At Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

You'd be surprised to know that I think we have to cut or limit funding to education. The legislature can't continue to run in the red. But since very few people understand how school financing works, many elected officials get away with these "smokescreen" soundbites and the public doesn't know it. The state legislature continues to force responsibility to the local district while stripping the locals of local decision-making powers. So much for my Republican party being the party of small government and local control.

But lack of funding seems like it only provides cover for other agendas.

 
At Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if the public is being duped and the politicians don't understand school financing -- please give us some sensible, tangible ideas for improvement.

How can the educational system be made more efficient?

What is a reasonable per student funding rate in Indiana -- IPS is $7,200 and Mt. Vernon is $5,200 -- is that in the range?

 
At Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if the public is being duped and the politicians don't understand school financing -- please give us some sensible, tangible ideas for improvement.

How can the educational system be made more efficient?

What is a reasonable per student funding rate in Indiana -- IPS is $7,200 and Mt. Vernon is $5,200 -- is that in the range?

 
At Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of "What should the funding level be?".... the question should be,"Who should decide what the funding level should be?"

I think a larger minimum funding level for all schools would help some. Reduce the gaps between rich and poor. The at-risk multipliers should be held where they are and when the economy recovers then a higher flat basic grant for all schools should be instituted.

Also, I believe the local school board at Carmel and elsewhere should have wider discretion in deciding this for themselves.

The reason for all the hubub about funding levels, is that many excellent school systems around the Indy area are seeing their perpupil funding levels drop due to increasing enrollment. They are hurting. Lost in the debate is the fact they are dropping to where many others have already been. Inequity is the issue.

This is why IPS becomes the poster child for why Republicans think minimum gurantee should be stopped. Unfortunately for smaller rural schools there isn't as much to cut. They never had the extra program director to begin with. Hard to cut something you never had.

Sooper

 
At Wednesday, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...if you make every district equal ...EXACTLY how much per student do Indiana taxpayers need to pay for a quality job of education.

I hear the "we need to spend more"..."we need to reduce gaps".

For gosh sakes, how much per Indiana student in 2005-2006 would get the job done satisfactorily, in your judgment?

Don't keep those of us who are not trained educators in the dark and guessing. State the number and make your case.

 
At Thursday, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one wants the 48 Indiana counties listed in the IndyStar to receive the same per student funding as IPS, here's what you need:

1- the current annual budget for those counties - $1.6 billion

2- the increased funding to make everyone equal - $351,843,379

3- a 22% increase to nearly $2 billion annually

4- only costs $100 per year more from every adult Hoosier.

5- only 28 cents per day from every adult Hoosier or

6- for less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee at McDonalds we have educational funding parity in IN - $7,200 per student.

 

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