Chickens coming home to roost

Today’s Trib was non-stop coverage of a failing school district. I hardly know where to begin except to say that it all began with a vile abuse of trust.

I don’t think the Dixon remnants know how to communicate honestly any more. Its the old story I always give for sticking to the truth – I’m not smart enough to remember my lies. Neither is the District and with the smooth talking Dixon gone none one is left who can soft soap the DNT’s editorial board.

Art Johnston will be made out to be a boogeyman for saying the District’s figures are a sham but the District hasn’t made much of dent against his arguments. Even the Trib’s Education reporter had to say that many of the disagreements between Art and the District can’t even be compared. The two claims he has made that can be measured against each other do suggest that the District is providing self-serving data. 1. That the District has repeatedly exaggerated the cost of inflation and 2 That while the District has made “$24 million” in cuts in recent years that hasn’t actually meant less spending.

Point 2 is pretty bad for the District. What makes it worse is that our District is still spending about the same amount of money it did five years ago despite losing 2,000 students or just under 20% of its students during that time period. Presumably that should mean even more spending per child today and yet the classrooms are far more crowded than ever.

My guess has always been that this is a result of operational money going to pay off Red Plan debt but the District keeps denying this. Where has the money gone then? They’ve got the same money. They’ve got 18% fewer students. But classes bursting through the walls. A healthy dose of truth, no matter how embarassing, is very much in order. Don’t bank on ever getting it from the Dixon crowd.

I’ve said before that I plan to vote “yes” on all three levels of the proposed levy. The District and our kids need the revenue. My prediction is that the District will never see a dime of it. Why?

Throw in the loss of the homestead credit. Throw in a near certain 4.9% school district tax increase that can’t be prevented by referendum and an uncommon City referendum asking for more. Throw in great uncertainty over the European Common Market……. Well. you get the idea.

And by the way, I sort of agree with Frank Wanner that GOP Rep. Garofalo has declared war on our children. They say it takes one to know one. I can’t, however, explain why Frank has such a high opinion of Keith Dixon.

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