Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"For the children" has lost its luster

In response to Mr. Robert Gowan's open letter advocating for Mayor Karl Dean's budget at On Public Education.

"I just ran the calculation on how much 53 cents will cost me. The property tax increase will cost half of what I spent on iTunes last month. The increase is about one-third of what I pay every month for cellphone service."

All this proves is that YOU have expendable income, Mr. Gowan. Not all the property owners and renters (both families and businesses) in Nashville are able to squeeze out more especially for a school system that is under-performing and under-serving a core student group that desperately needs a good education to break free of generational issues.  We're tired of tightening OUR belts, working harder to earn a bit more and waiting for raises that if they come are small. For all our sacrifices which were intended to help our own families we are rewarded by being told we can afford to sacrifice more.

The fact is that the 'it's for the children' argument has lost its luster with taxpayers. If Mayor Dean really wanted to, he could immediately fully fund the education (and safety) portion of his budget and let the rest suffer the consequences of a bad economy and bad financial management. But he won't. And don't be fooled. Once the Council passes that budget and that money goes on to MNPS, they are free to spend it as they wish--there are no guarantees MNPS will spend it as the Council or Mayor Dean intended. Oh, teachers will probably get their raise--union's must be placated for their political support--but all the rest...