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Questions about school referendum

October 31, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

Regarding the proposed school referendum in District 88:

The school board wants voters to approve a revenue increase of $575 per pupil for ten years, with a rate of inflation cost increase built right in. Who wouldn't like that?

First of all, the ration of 80 percent and 20 percent wasn't mentioned. Of the proposed $575 per pupil increase, $460 goes to salary and benefits, $115 goes to students. Also included in the $115 is building maintenance, books, heating, electricity, mowing the lawn, plowing the snow, etc. So after all this what is left for 'the children?'

Education Minnesota week just passed and Gov. Dayton spoke to the teachers and their union. Did the teachers ask the governor about the money that the state promised to pay to District 88? The amount is about $5,740,913. If not, what did the governor want to talk to you about? I would like to hear an answer.

Education Minnesota Days isn't supposed to be a social event. There was a lot of work to do. Our local school board can't do a whole lot about running our school because it has to live with mandates for federal and state authorities who are not responsible.

I haven't got a problem with paying taxes if the people spending my payments are spending responsibly.

In 2012 my property taxes increase 23 percent. Some of these taxes went to the school district. It wasn't enough.

If we must have a referendum then I would like to see the time period shortened to two years. I am not agreeing to a $575 per pupil increase of which only $115 goes to students but I will accept it if I see some spending responsibility by our local school board. When salary negotiations happen there must be no raises in slaary or benefits. A lot of people I know have not seen a raise in three years. Some even lost their jobs. So let's be satisfied We all have to give.

Let's try at the next salary and benefits negotiation event to get the ratio down to 75 percent and 20 percent. Do it for the children. If you are teachers you do more teaching by your actions than by talking. We all have a big job to do if our country is to survive. Be leaders, not followers.

The people who are supposed to be leaders and are supposed to do the job bicker like children and can't get the job done and they want to get re-elected. Go figure.

Paul B. Hoffman

New Ulm



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