Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fort Bend School Board Mulls Over Deficit Spending

Well, not really. The issue was placed before the board in their annual budget process by Superintendent Tim Jenney. From FortBendNow:

“‘What’s the board’s collective or individual position on deficit funding?’ Jenney asked.”

And that’s as far as it got. Just about to a man and woman, the idea was firmly rejected by school board members.

“This is a little scary”, “That’s going to change the perception of a responsible board”, “This is not a trend I’d like to see happen”, and “You ain’t gonna get my vote” were the varied responses.

In the past, the district budget has always counted on an increase in revenue because of growth. More houses built, more families, more children, more students, more revenue to Fort Bend ISD from the state. Yet this past year, growth fell below projections, and while it is difficult to see into the future, all you have to do is read the paper to see that the economy is slowing nationally.

And it would seem that the “Half Empty” outlook on life might be an appropriate one for the local school districts.

Plan for the worst.

Unfortunately the damage has already been done and planning for the worst is all but impossible. In their Republican zeal to slash local taxes so the local electorate will gorge themselves on their saved $180 dollars per household per year, the past board of trustees has agreed to placing a knife at the present board’s throat.

Once you cut taxes, it’s kind of hard to get that back.

And hoping to stay in the black with revenue from this tightfisted state that so devalues education, when your numbers can’t support it, is a fool’s errand.

Chickens, meet roost.

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