Bethel Action Committee Urges Residents to Vote “No” on Budget

Bethel Action Committee Urges Residents to Vote “No” on Budget
The following is a Letter to the Editor sent in by Billy Michael, president and founder of the Bethel Action Committee. The opinion expressed does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Bethel Buzz or its editor.
Last May Bethel school officials emphasized a tiny 1.2% increase in school spending to garner voter approval. It worked – the budget passed by 300 votes.
At that time, the Bethel Action Committee disclosed the inconvenient truth that school spending was really increasing by 2.59% and criticized the school administration for excluding the $476,000  Education Jobs Grant (a gift to the teachers union from the President and Congress) in the way they calculated the spending increase.
We warned that the one year federal “gift” should not be used to help implement a permanent program like All Day Kindergarten because the costs would eventually become the responsibility of local taxpayers.
Think of how many times this proposed budget has been described as “budget neutral’ and “status quo” in order to reassure taxpayers that costs are being contained.
The April 4th budget hearing revealed that since the recession started, student enrollment has DECREASED by about 8% and that the total per pupil spending is now at $13,177!
Supporters of this budget perceive that this money is essential for student achievement and well-being. With roughly 85% of this amount consumed by staff salaries and benefits, the real beneficiaries here are not the students.
Keeping this in mind, are raises for Bethel’s 15.45 administators currently costing nearly $2.5 million in salaries and benefit really necessary to achieve academic excellence in the schools?
Nearly one-third of the $1.6 million (4.4%) increase in proposed school spending makes up for the loss of the Federal Jobs Grant. There is nothing “status quo” or “budget neutral” about the impact of this budget on local taxpayers.
Vote No – Too High on Thursday May 17th.

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Posted on May 11, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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