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Property tax and school funds

April 06, 2011 - Dear Editor,

(In response to: 'Opponents call for closing door on schools of choice,' The Citizen April 2, page 1):

I beg to differ with our superintendent, the direct relationship between the property taxes we pay and the dollars received by our school district is the debt.

The 8.24 debt millage (yes, a tax) is for construction, technology innovation, etc. The people of Brandon and Groveland townships who live within the Brandon School District pay that money, not the people who live outside of our district.

Although operating costs go into "one big pot" as you like to call it, we pay more for our total school program than those outside of the district because of the debt. Debt that we voted to pay for in order to support technology, improvements to our buildings and a new stadium.

Why is it that every time talk of cutting budgets comes up, the superintendent, who works for us by the way, continues to threaten cuts in areas that she decides like busing, sports, etc. instead of the cuts that the taxpayers, who pay her by the way, indicate they want to see? Because they are hot buttons with parents, that's why. She thinks that we will continue to agree with anything she says as long as she doesn't affect our buses or sports. Superintendent McMahon, do you listen to yourself say the words, "It could mean a 2/3 cut in athletics" when we, the taxpayers who you work for by the way, have directed you through our votes to invest in a new stadium? Belle Ann would be closed? Didn't we just put millions into the building?

If we started the 2011/2012 school year at zero SOC students and added 392 would there be need for another building? Would we see a 2/3 reduction in cost to our athletic programs? How many new eachers would we have to hire?

Why would two or three grades at different buildings using only one fewer teacher reduce costs? Is this indicating that adding 392 students would only require one additional teacher?

Coming from a competitive business background I see the options, or "threats," continually coming out of our superintendent as extreme, ridiculous scare tactics. She seems to be more interested in SOC as windfall money than in running the district we hired her to run on the budget we give her to do it with. In the business world that is a "fail."

Keith Wiederhold

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