cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Germantown School District is, as discussed last week, between that proverbial "rock and hard place" that confronts us all from time to time. Ric Ericksen, whose responsibility is the business side of school administration, was quoted in the article posted on July 14th on the Germantown Now website, indicating that the district is wrestling with the various options.
The options as he described them are tax increases, expense reductions or borrowing from a fund maintained by the district. Presumably a fourth option would be the use of each of the three mentioned in some kind of cumulative manner.
Ericksen seemed to be favoring the borrowing of funds from the "fund" that currently stands at some $4.5 million. That is no doubt the least painful way to deal with this shortfall but carries with it some other implications.
What happens if we discover that the state will not increase funding next year? How will we both cover that shortfall and replace the money taken from the fund? The budget for this cycle assumed that Doyle and the Democrats wouldn't cut state aid, and that has proved to have been a bad assumption. Future assumptions as to state aid should probably not be quite so optimistic given our experience this year.
There is nothing that I see in the future year or two suggesting there will be any extra money. The recession will get worse rather than better for the foreseeable future. Further employment cuts are likely in our future for some time to come and that would suggest that the state is going to see even tougher times as tax revenue continues lower than projected.
There is already a projected $2 billion structural deficit in the budget just passed.
What do you think should be done? Is there more room for teacher reductions? Only if there are resignations that are not filled since contracts are already in place for the coming year. Can more cuts be made to support staff? Can more cuts be made to Administration? Is it wise to borrow from the fund when it seems unlikely that we'll be able to pay that money back anytime soon? Can we take a property tax increase on top of all other demands upon us taxpayers?
What would you do if you were a member of our school board?
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled Let The Debate Begin.