A misuse of tax money
Government can always find ways to spend the taxpayer's money and this is more than obvious with 59 School Districts in South Dakota. These districts are using state and local taxpayer dollars in an effort to obtain more taxpayer dollars so they ...
Government can always find ways to spend the taxpayer's money and this is more than obvious with 59 School Districts in South Dakota.
These districts are using state and local taxpayer dollars in an effort to obtain more taxpayer dollars so they can then increase taxpayer dollar spending.
The hardworking taxpayer might well ask: How does this happen?
First you have a group of superintendents, a lawyer and a law firm looking for a lawsuit that will be funded by taxpayers for several years.
Then, you find 59 school district school boards and taxpayer-paid superintendents that are willing to spend the taxpayer dollars for a study of school funding.
Thirdly, you hire an out-of-state consultant, paid for with taxpayer money, to determine that the taxpayers of South Dakota are not providing enough tax dollars for education. (This of course is a consulting firm, who in every other state where they have conducted a study, has come to the same surprising conclusion that education is under funded by the taxpayer.)
Fourth, the law firm travels the state with the out-of-state consultant's study to obtain taxpayer money to fund a lawsuit.
Finally, the law firm files the lawsuit, funded with taxpayer dollars, against the taxpayers of South Dakota to provide more taxpayer money for education. Hence begins a lengthy legal process and a long-term legal retainer, all paid for by the taxpayer.
The 59 locally elected school boards step back and blame the state for lack of taxpayer funding, the school administrators abrogate their responsibility to manage the school budgets, the out-of-state consulting firm is paid and the law firm has a retainer -- all at taxpayer expense.
There are always winners and losers. The losers are not only the taxpayer but also the students. The taxpayer funds are intended for education not lawsuits and consultants.
Since the outcome and actions by the Legislature are unknown, the school boards and administrators may get some surprises!
If the state were required to raise state taxes for education it would be the Legislature who would control those funds and local school boards would have less control. (He who has the gold, sets the policies.)
The Legislature could require that at least 65 cents of every dollar go into the classroom and not more than 35 cents of every dollar be spent on administration.
School districts could be directed to consolidate to ensure "equal" education opportunities.
County wide school districts could be established with only one superintendent and shared administrative costs.
Hopefully, in the Legislature and now in the courts, the student and taxpayer are also well represented. South Dakota is a small state with limited resources.
"Passing the buck," increased spending, and raising taxes do not ensure a better education for our kids.