Tulsa Education: November 2005 Archives

Why he's voting no

| | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (1)

Mike Mansur, who blogs at meanderingaphorisms.blogspot.com, writes regarding tomorrow's school bond election:

I got into an argument this past weekend with a gentleman who was furious that I would vote against the proposed school bond election that is being held tomorrow. He said I was dooming those children to a life of poverty.

You can read his response here.

I just had a look at the Tulsa Public Schools bond issue, which will be on the ballot this Tuesday.

There will be four propositions on the ballot, with names that suggest coherent groupings: building improvements ($116.4 million); library books, library materials, and building additions ($9.7 million); textbooks, classroom learning materials, and technology ($29.6 million); transportation ($6.5 million). That's a grand total of $162.2 million, or about $1,000 per student per year over the next four years. That money is over and above the operating budget of approximately $6,000 per year per regular student and $13,000 per year per special education student.

When you look at the details, they've made it very difficult for taxpayers to prioritize one kind of spending over another. Included in the building improvements package is money for artificial turf and other stadium improvements and money for renovating all middle school pools. The library and classroom packages combine one-time expenditures for capital improvements -- building additional library space -- with money for recurring operating expenses, like licenses for online research services.

Once upon a time, school bond issues were for building new school buildings or major renovations on existing buildings -- things with lifespans measured in decades. For the last 10 years or so, schools have been allowed to use bond money to fund textbooks, software, computers, and other equipment with a short lifespan, things that really belong to the operating budget.

It is important to maintain what we have and to expand facilities where it's needed, but it would be considerate of the school board to distinguish between absolute necessities and "nice to haves" when they come to us for funding.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Education category from November 2005.

Tulsa Education: August 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Education: February 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]