"Should a district try and cut back services to a child who needs special education, the lawyers come flocking in like Robins in the springtime. This is a perfect storm for districts to always be back at the capitol with their hands out."
Great article in the paper today about the great divide in Minnesota. Seems there are now three tax plans floating around St. Paul. The Republican led House has one, the Republican lead Senate has one, and Sir Goofy of the Northland has one. The first two offer some kind of modest tax relief for the subjects of Sir Goofy, and of course, Sir Goofy just wants to spend more.
It seems Sir Goofy believes it is a travesty to offer his subjects a few crumbs of tax relief when our schools are in such need of MORE MONEY. What? You have seen this movie before? Like every year? Yes, our failing government schools seem to always have their hands out asking for MORE MONEY.
Some Republicans have said, "Hold on Sir Goofy. This is partly your problem for allocating so much funding to your pet rock, Pre-K". Sir Goofy however, will have none of that, and still blames the districts shortfalls on those stingy Republicans.
Here is a dirty little secret. The first part, most know. The second part, very few know. Part 1 - Most districts are terrible money managers. They don't know a budget from a six pack of beer. No duh!
Part 2 - A big and hidden cost driver is the growing and underfunded cost of special education. Starting in 1975, the federal government got its statutory and regulatory mitts on this issue. It started issuing guidelines and mandates to the states on how to do special education. The feds promised the states they would have skin in the game. The promised 40% of ALL special education funding was to be supplied by the feds. Never happened.
Why is this such a big issue? Nationwide, the average cost to educate a child for one year is $7,552. For a student in special education, the average cost is $16,921 - an additional $9,369 per student. The feds kick in some, but never the promised 40%. However, their mandates remain. Should a district try and cut back services to a child who needs special education, the lawyers come flocking in like Robins in the springtime. This is a perfect storm for districts to always be back at the capitol with their hands out.
I have been aware of this issue for many years, mostly due to spousal influence. My suggestion has been the states sue the federal government for the shortfall. Maybe if we had a real AG in this state we could have. But we have not had a real AG since I was a young man. This year we could change that, by electing Doug Wardlow as our next AG.
So the tax wars continue in St. Paul. Of course, the one group who once again was left out were the seniors. Hello Social Security? Always promised, never fixed. Sir Goofy's position on fixing Social Security? He would rather be dipped in boiling oil. Why? He thinks our Social Security belongs to him and not us.