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Letter to the Editor - Catch 22?

It's easy to understand why schools may need more money in times of increasing enrollment. Of course you would need more buses, teachers, computers, desks, textbooks, etc. These things cost money.
 
It's a little harder to understand why the schools need us to pay higher taxes during times of decreasing enrollment. Wouldn't you need fewer educational assets if you have fewer kids? Yeah, I know. The fewer students you have, the less aid you get from the state. But it's quite frustrating that we are told that both declining and increasing school populations are reasons to increase tax rates.
 
It's kind of funny, too, that schools now deplete resources to recruit students from other districts, to gain more more state money for themselves. This leads me to believe that it costs less to educate a kid than the state money received for that new student. Otherwise, why would a school want to recruit outside students, if it would create an increased financial burden on that district?
 
And what would a higher tax rate fund?  Well, doesn't somewhere north of 80% of all school revenue get spent on salaries and benefits? The Door County Advocate recently listed the salaries of many government employees. I guess it is up to the electorate to determine if they think these employees are poorly compensated or not. And let's not forget the reforms recently signed into law by Governor Walker. They give school boards real power to suppress the growth of spending without compromising the quality of education. To that end, voters must decide if they think that electing educators to their school boards is an enlightened idea, or that if it is insane, from a business point of view, to enable educators to determine the compensation rates of other educators. 
 
Speaking of the Walker reforms, there is at least one school board candidate who has signed the Walker recall petition. If knowing a candidate's stance on Walker's reforms will affect your vote one way or the other, you can check out the candidates at iverifytherecall.com.
 
Anyway, lots to think about. See you at the polls.
 
Tom Felhofer
Union
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