Friday, June 19, 2015

The ‘Wait, What?!’ of the Week, June 19, 2015

In the nearby town of Plymouth, CT, the town council recently approved a school budget that will spend more than $23.7 million on public education for the 2015-16 fiscal year. This is a $400,000 increase over what is being spent this year. In reaction to this, assistant high school principal Amy Radke exclaimed in horror, “Never in my wildest dreams would I believe this council would do that to the education budget. I am ashamed. This is the beginning of the end of our education system.”

Wait. What?! This little town is going to spend $23.7 million in taxpayer money on education next year—400 grand more than this year—and that is “the beginning of the end,” according to Ms. Radke? Apparently Ms. Radke’s forte in the education world is not mathematics, but rather fiction writing. It seems the final budget amount is about $200,000 less than what the school board originally requested. (Not $200,000 less than what is being spent this year, which would be a genuine reduction. But $200,000 less than the proposed $600,000 increase, which of course means a net $400,000 increase. But only in the world of government spending can a $400,000 increase be thought of as a shameful “cut.” Sheesh!)

Similar scenarios occur on a regular basis all across the country. Is anybody beside me getting fed up with this charade, where tax increases and spending increases are called “cuts,” and where government employees have indignant hissy fits when the taxpayers do not joyfully cough up every single penny that’s demanded? I have an idea how the town of Plymouth can free up an extra $200,000 of funding: fire a certain hysterical assistant principal. Her generous salary, health insurance, vacation days, sick days, personal days, and pension contributions surely cost the town at least 200 grand per year. Just sayin'.

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