Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What to remember in 2014: That budgets are choices

The latest from the News Journal on education layoffs has become business as usual in Delaware:

Brandywine is one of many school districts throughout Delaware planning layoffs. In this case, officials are expected to lay off 18 paraprofessionals and eight classroom teachers. 
In the Colonial School District, officials say they’ll be forced to lay off 81 people, including 59 classroom teachers, if voters don’t approve a tax referendum today. And even with approval of the referendum, teachers and other staffers will lose their jobs. 
In the Milford School District, 15 paraprofessionals got pink slips. 
School leaders across those districts say the problem comes from state and federal support drying up, increasing the burden on local districts.
Here's the thing:  this didn't just happen.

Budgets are choices.

The Markell administration and the members of our General Assembly made choices that led to this happening.  They continue to make them every day.

Imagine that the $26 million devoted to the chimera of the Fisker Karma had been invested instead in Delaware schools or Medicaid for poor Delaware children.

Imagine the same about the $29 million from the "Strategic Fund" sent out instead as corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations by Al Levin.

Imagine that the $5 million of RTTT compliance computers or the $2 million for a new charter school slush fund had been spent on education funding.

Imagine that the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security's budget had not been bloated by an additional $5 million over the past three years.

Ironically, that's $65 million--$65,000,000!--that could actually have been available--without a single tax increase!--to actually pay for core services.

Like having enough teachers in the classroom.

Like having health insurance for poor kids.

When the News Journal or the DSEA Executive Board tries to feed you a line of crap about how times are tight and we all have to make sacrifices (with over 3,000 state workers so poorly paid that they qualify for Food Stamps), remind them that they didn't make sacrifices, they made choices.

We have choices, too.

And we need to make them next year by using the ballot box.


Hube said...

In a word: "Bingo."

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget that yearly leased 2.2 million helicopter sitting there STILL.

Anonymous said...

Very well stated.

downwithabsolutes said...

Wow. Awesome work here!