The madness that is known as the 'rising cost of public education' continues to spiral out of control especially in the nation's metropolises. Current examples of the excess:
In New York, per-pupil spending is projected to rise to over $18,000.
In Texas, legislators voted for a teacher pay raise over a cut in property taxes.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the costs of a building program have grown from 1.6 billion to 2.4 billion.
As the New York Post editorializes, "But lawmakers, as always, steadfastly rejected proposals to cap local taxes and/or spending - and laughed off the idea of real incentives to slow budget growth."
At this juncture, the only hope for the fed-up citizen is the fed-up citizen. An organized group of voters in Amherst, Mass., a town whose main employer is the education-prevention camps,* managed to defeat a pro-school override earlier this month.
A sampling of the anti-override sentiments:
The overburdened taxpayers are happy," said Stanley C. Gawle, one of the organizers for Amherst Taxpayers for Responsible Change. He said government will have to get rid of the nonessentials which he said are leisure services and bureaucrats.
Linda B. Stark, who also opposed the override, said it was a choice between keeping her house or the override. She said she wouldn't have been able to keep her house if the override had passed.
Ann D. Poli also voted against the override. "I feel the schools have got to begin utilizing the money they have," she said. And she worried about the effect of the additional taxes on those in town who live on fixed incomes.
Notice no one is arguing against education or children or learning. But these counterpunchers are saying what financially-responsible adults need to say when public officials continue to squander limited resources on never-shrinking entitlement programs that divide communities into the haves, the haves-not, and the haves-to-haves.