Posted with the author's permission. (Given by her brother!) ~Bob
What Prop 100 Really Means
by Sherry Hollenbeck
We all want the best things possible for our children, including the best educational plan money can buy? Maybe that's the root of the whole problem, "money". As our country has prospered we threw more and more money at education, actually thinking that would solve the problem. What in fact it did was, create an avenue for corruption. Money has that effect even for the well educated. In 1979 Jimmy Carter threw even more money at education forming "The Department of Education." Since this department was formed to date, studies show a steady decline in the national academic averages. This has to show one important thing in my mind, "throwing money at a problem doesn't guarantee a fix."
Case in point:
We have approximately 58 school districts in Maricopa County . Approximately 47 of these districts supports a "Superintendent" drawing a salary of between $100,000. & $200,000., and most if not all will have 2 to 4 "Assistant Superintendents" making between $80,000 & $125,000. Lets just calculate on the conservative side and say each Superintendent makes $140,000 with salary and perks times 47 districts = $6,580,000., while also being conservative listing 47 districts that have 2 Assistant Superintendents at a salary & perks of $100,000. =$9,400,000. for a grand total of $15,980,000 to the tax payer. Keep in mind this total is low because there are some districts that have 4 to 7 Assistant Superintendent's and even more administrative "Directors" that put the actual totals closer in the range of $35,000,000. This money is simply skimmed off the top of all school funding. Also keep in mind, every two years each district also skims more money from the tax payers in yet another rouse through bond money. Each district devotes an entire department year round to promote propaganda to get "overrides" passed so these "fat cats" can confiscate yet more tax dollars from us for that special product they provide, "inefficiency and underachievement."
There is not much difference in what Bernie Madoff did and what these guys do everyday, it's just they have better cover. These guys use our kids as cover. They parade them out in informercials and convince the parents and the public that the kids will suffer without "more money." "Show me the money."
"Here's a red flag for you, our academics are not improving, they are on a steady decline." We have traded quality for quantity and accountability for bureaucracy.
"No amount of money will generate creativity, an ingredient that a "true teacher" must inspire in a student to help them reach their true potential." "No big salary administrator or the Department of Education, or the "Whitehouse" or any other bureaucratic entity will ever replace the "teacher student" relationship that ultimately will define our children. We have to change that mindset of throwing money at a problem instead of resolve.
You want real solutions to fixing some real problems, lets start with closing the check book. If I hire someone to provide a service, I might want a plan that actually fixes the problem before I write that check.
Lets be our own "contractor", because we are actually paying these people. Let's start by cutting the overhead, the dead weight that serves no real purpose, and let the money actually make it to the class room, then there would be no need to continually pilferage more tax money through yet another tax hike that will only "delay" the inevitable. If we don't change the habits, we can't change the behavior and the problem still exists to appear another day further down the road.
We only need "1" school district per county. "1" Superintendent of schools state wide with a department set up to monitor curriculum and another for budgets. The real result will be accountability and less spending. More money can be spent in search of quality teachers instead of spending $20,000. as one district did on a nationwide search for an "administrator". "Really?" We can do better than this.
My advise to all is to take the initiative to cut spending by actually closing the check book and vote "NO" on prop 100. It will have some cuts to first responders, but there are areas they can cut to balance the shortfall without putting the public at risk, they have already admitted that. Will people lose their jobs, yes. Many Americans have already lost their jobs, and no extra tax hikes will help that either. "Growth will help that, and growth in the economy will only come from "less taxes." Our city government as well as our state government as it exists today, have budgets that reflected better times. We now need to readjust and slim down to meet our current conditions. "Adapt and overcome."