- mismanagement of the district and accompanying scandals
- doubling of the levy amount during a recession
- spending money on anything not directly related to the classroom (social services like health care, family support, etc).
Did the Mayor and the City Council make a mistake doubling the levy during a recession? Yes, I would say so. It does mystify me given the recession and the general climate around our district. I would have thought some austerity about the amount and a gut check about our district might have been in order.
Has the levy been effective in the past? There are measures that show it has but probably not as largely as many would want. It has been run under at least three different mayors, all with different ideas. The ideas may have changed as the realities of what the programs were or were not achieving.
Maybe the levy should have a more focused approach and not try to cover so much ground. But how to pick and choose?
Providing social services. We provide meals at schools for low-income students. Now, more than ever, we have parents who are struggling with money issues. So food is important. Is health care at schools? The clinics provide physicals, basic health care, vaccinations, mental health care - isn't this something the City/County would be providing anyway but more likely not at a school? What about Family Support Workers who make sure kids get glasses, a turkey at Thanksgiving and provide resources to struggling families? Is providing all these services via a school better than having struggling families have to go to multiple places for help?
The Governor is suggesting a cut of about 2300 preschool seats for 3-year-olds. This levy would backfill some of those seats. Is that important enough?
This is quite the dangerous time for this levy. It's the 4th education levy in two years. The Mayor and City Council chose to double it during a recession. There are huge dissatisfactions over the management of this district (complete with scandals).
Voters DO have a way to express that unhappiness via School Board elections and City Council elections.
I believe if the Supplemental levy had been in, say May instead of February of this year, it would have failed in a landslide and there would have been the message sent to the district. I can't fault the reasoning of voting against it because of unhappiness over its size or the unhappiness with the running of the district. But of all the times to show unhappiness, I would hope it will not be with this levy.
One Times' commenter, Rarely Vocal, said this:
I'm sorry but I'm voting a big NO, and it's not the fault of the children or the teachers even though they will be the ones to suffer most.
Something to ponder.