Home » Opinion » Editorials
'Fully funded': Labeling a school budget
Manchester School Superintendent Thomas Brennan has to submit a budget for next year that keeps school spending below the city's voter-approved spending cap. School board members this month asked him to submit a second one that would "fully fund the Manchester district and meet state standards," as board member Art Beaudry's motion put it. Though this will not tell parents and taxpayers very much, it will provide a lovely opportunity for some political grandstanding.
That grandstanding has already begun. At the school board meeting two Mondays ago, member John Avard said, "We need to know what the number is that is going to keep us in compliance with state guidelines. We have to see what a fully funded budget looks like."
Board members who advocate spending more money love this game because they get to define the terms. By the definitions imposed by the board, the higher-spending budget will be "fully funded" and the one that complies with the voter-imposed spending cap will not be. It should be obvious that simply calling the higher budget "fully funded" does not make the lower budget a dereliction of the city's duties. But that is how the cap-compliant budget was portrayed this past year, and the same way it will be portrayed next year, as though the city can measure its commitment to students by raw budget numbers alone.
Ignored in this political exercise will be the assumptions made in the creation of the "fully funded" budget. By definition, the full funding will mean increasing employee compensation per the existing contracts. But the contracts are to be renegotiated next year. New contracts might allow the district to hire more personnel at a lower per-person cost.
The so-called "fully funded" budget also would not necessarily include things like shifting costs by finding corporate sponsors (approved this year by the school board), or cutting costs by finding more efficient ways of doing things.
Taxpayers should not fall for this rhetorical trick.
READER COMMENTS: 3
- Kayla Bullwinkel: Schools must go after cyber bullies while respecting the First Amendment - 3
- George Will: Obama uses a bludgeon in Wisconsin - 2
- Jonah Goldberg: Feminists freak out over a guy's clothes - 1
- Another View -- Ted Cruz: Don't turn the Internet into a public utility - 8
- Charles Arlinghaus: Divided government keeps bad things from happening - 2
- Thomas Sowell: How race obsession can hurt minority students - 2
- Another View -- Tom Szold: After a 2014 GOP loss, some reflections and second guesses - 14
- Pat Buchanan: The oil weapon in America's hands - 0
- David Harsanyi: A terrible climate deal that doesn't matter - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Police obtain warrants for suspect wanted in Dover, Manchester bank robberies - 0
- Abby Dion, 9, records a 10 in gymnastics meet - 0
- St. A skaters fall to Norwich - 0
- Monarchs lose in OT; win streak stops at 6 - 0
- Police searching for person stealing from cars in Manchester - 1
- College Football: Maine seniors want the coveted musket - 0
- College Hockey: Ice-making problem postpones UNH-PC - 1
- Pinkerton backfield a combination of power and speed - 0
- John Habib's City Sports: State Legion rejects Post 79’s request for senior team - 2
Jury acquits Mont Vernon driver, who was checking text, in death of former Amherst fire chief
Offend someone? To jail with you!
Obama to illegals: Come out of shadows
Plaistow town planner arrested
Driver acquitted in Amherst ex-chief’s death
A kinder, gentler House Speaker?
College Football: Wildcats are CAA champs
College Hockey: Providence blanks UNH