Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Local control is a must

Today's must read comes from Bill Hobbs.

Tennessee Comptroller John Morgan is proposing that the state of Tennessee restructure its tax system to put the state - rather than local governments - in charge of funding education. Morgan told the Basic Education Program Review Committee that public education in Tennessee should be under state control rather than local control.
They'll do it by controlling the money. Please read the rest of what Bill has written.

THIS is what ought to be first on the legislative priorities list for the School Board and their partner the Tennessee School Boards Association--not hiding public business behind closed doors. We barely know what's going on now. Does anyone seriously think that improvements will occur and accountability will improve if we move control of schools from across the state to Nashville? I'm assuming that this will only solidify 'professional' control of the whole enterprise and your complaints and your child's needs will be met with 'I'm sorry, ma'am, but we can't do anything about it here--it's state policy'.

Bill Hobbs quotes from the Chattanooga Free Press:
"Education is not a local issue," Mr. Morgan said. "It really is a state problem, so why don't we use the state tax base to fund an adequate education program to give all children in Tennessee the opportunity to succeed in public schools?"
Not a local issue? Excuse me it doesn't get more local than the corner school bus stop. It doesn't get more local than your property tax rates.

More from the Free Press:
County Board of Education chairman Joe Conner said he was skeptical of Mr. Morgan’s proposal.

“I have no confidence in the state coming up with a formula, which is taking more of our local dollars, when they can’t fix the formula they have today,” he said.
Me either. Metropolitan Board of Education Chairman Marsha Warden needs to weigh in on this as do all the rest of the BOE members. Are they going to sit this out or are they going to fight for local control of local schools?


Tom said...

Agreed, but we shouldn't just stop at the county level; we need to give schools themselves more "local control."

Anonymous said...

Do any other states operate the schools in this way?

Kay Brooks said...

Good question. I don't know if any other states have state property taxes to pay for public schools.

And then the next question is--

How well is that working?