10-19-15 – State Board of Ed Wants Money/Staff to Implement Act 46. Greaaaat…

by Rob Roper

Act 46 is supposed to save property taxpayer money, right? Consolidation is supposed to create efficiencies that require fewer resources, right? So here comes an article by VPR, Board Of Education Seeks New Staff To Implement Consolidation Law.

The article spotlights a request by the State Board of Education (SBE) to hire three new employees. This is big news because up until now the SBE has not had paid staff of any kind. The three new positions would comprise a legal advisor, a field worker coordinating and reporting on local consolidations efforts, and an administrative assistant.

The cost of this bureaucratic growth: $200,000 annually. (And who would like to bet that this is just the beginning of such requests?) A recent report on the potential consolidation of Elmore and Morristown, one of two mergers on the ballot this November, stated “In time [several years], the new union would achieve $490,000 in savings. All of those savings at the local level (granting for the sake of argument that they actually accrue) would be wiped out and then some by the SBE’s expanding budget.

This has been a real worry regarding the push by Montpelier to consolidate school districts, which would eliminate existing local school boards – it’s not about saving money or lowering taxes, it’s about concentrating more power and tax dollars in the capitol and taking it away from local communities.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda Degreenia October 19, 2015 at 5:05 pm

I agree, just ask the people who have consolidated their schools, ask them about taxes being lower, are the kids learning any better, how about all the increased costs of the sports teams, more buses for sports trips, the list could go on and on.

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H. Brooke Paige October 20, 2015 at 7:39 am

THE CALCLUS OF CONSOLIDATION

The only “mathematics” the Agency of Education knows is how to ADD “big state money” to “big Federal grant money” and then ADD that TOTAL to the “big local property tax money” RESULTING in a really big AMOUNT of money to be DIVIDED among the political friends and union allies who will SUBTRACT generous salaries, stipends and expense reimbursement submission which will MULTIPLY as the consolidation CALCULUS expands EXPONENTIALLY to engulf all of the former local schools RESULTING in the EQUIVILENT of single statewide school system.

The EQUATION ADDS up to big trouble – lower educational outcomes and higher education costs as more tax money is thrown down the Montpelier Money Manhole.

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