7.20.2009

When I talk about "local control" and "strings attached," this is what I mean

I feel at times as though I've become a broken record here, but this kind of thing is bad for Wisconsin and bad for the country in general. One of the reasons that all of us here at LiB opposed the stimulus bills so strongly were all of the strings attached to the money by the federal government. Many people asked for proof of the strings, well here you have it.

As Racine Unified School District officials decide whether to make cuts for the upcoming school year, they won’t be able to use stimulus money to make ends meet.

More than $27 million of federal stimulus money has been allocated for education in Racine, according to Wisconsin’s Office of Recovery and Reinvestment.But little of that money can plug the $8.2 million budget hole created this month when Unified officials learned they were getting less state aid than expected, Unified Chief Financial Officer David Hazen said.

“People say, ‘Well, you’ve got that money, how come you have tocut?’ ” Hazen said. "It’s because of the rules of the money.”


This is the problem with centralized government power. Racine Unified can balance their budget with the stimulus funds if only the rules allowed them to do it. But that isn't the way the game works. Any money that comes from Washington - or Madison for that matter - is going to have strings attached and you can bet that they will not be in the local district's best interests.

This is common sense. Who is more qualified to make decisions for the individual school district? Bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, or school board members and teachers?

We need to end this type of "aid." It doesn't do anything to actually help school districts, if anything it strains relations between the school - and mainly teachers because they are the face of the school - and the taxpayers. They see a ton of cash coming into the district, but their taxes go up or something they care about gets cut because some moron politician knows best.

Something tells me that Racine Unified is not the only school district this has happened to.