Of budgets and busing

I live in a town that, like many towns, is going through scholastic fiscal hell.

The school system is eliminating 100 positions. There’s talk of cutting an amazing high school arts program. On and on it goes—bad news atop bad news.

Here, the big debate of the moment involves my town providing busing to private schools for elementary school children. In other words, if your kid goes to a Catholic school, or a French school, or a Jewish school, my town offers free busing (within geographic reason). Now, the Powers that Be are considering ending such a benefit.

I agree 100%.

The parents of private school children argue that they pay taxes, too, and if they’re not benefitting from the dollars put into public schools, why shouldn’t they at least receive busing? The answer (bluntly): Tough shit. When one moves to a town, he/she knows there will be taxes to pay. He/she knows some of those taxes are to fund public schools. Whether one decided to send his/her child to public school is a personal decision. But if you opt to go private, you have made that choice with another viable option on the table. Nobody forced you to go private. It was your decision, and your decision alone. Why should I—or anyone—give you free busing?

It’s ludicrous.

OK, just venting. Carry on …

8 thoughts on “Of budgets and busing”

  1. Overpriveleged Union Thugs

    Think about it….if those public employee unions hadn’t conned those Democrat pols into giving them exorbitant benefit packages, your school district wouldn’t have to eliminate 100 positions and cut amazing high school arts (left wing propaganda) program.

    Maybe your district needs to bus in some “dumb white Republicans” to get your school district’s fiscal house in order.

  2. As the son of a teacher and union attorney, as well as the nephew of a union leader and grandchild of two union attorneys, YOUR SARCASM NOTWITHSTANDING, I couldn’t agree with your point about the public employee unions more.

    Before tooting your horn to loudly though, here in Nassau County, which for the most part is in Republican hands, it is they who have cowtowed to the Unions.

    Much like most of our problems, this is the result of bi-partisan idiocy.

  3. Jeff…I hate that argument.

    I mean, if parents want to cut their taxes or get rebates because their kids don’t attend public schools, then I want a rebate for the taxes I pay into the fire department (my house hasn’t burned down) and the police department (I don’t have anything worth stealing, so I don’t need them) and for the 900 roads in my town I don’t travel on.

    And since I live on a sidestreet that doesn’t get plowed and receives very little maintenance, I want a rebate there too.

    You want a strong community? You’d better have a strong school district.

    Why can’t people understand that?

  4. I disagree, Jeff. People who pay taxes for city services should get those services. If we choose not to or don’t need to consume all that we pay for — e.g., we don’t consume any of the public schools resources even though we pay for them — our loss and, to your point, tough shit on any private school family that wants a tax reduction because they claim not to get their burger’s worth. I’m with you there.

    Also, I would expect that any incremental cost of busing our kids to private school vs to a local school is far less than the cost of the public school resources that we are not consuming. Viewed another way, by sending our kids to private school, we are probably net subsidizing our neighbors’ public school experiences by paying in, without consuming district resources other than busing.

    We should talk. Or schedule a steel-cage match on the patch of asphalt between our houses.

  5. Oh – and it’s not free busing, if we pay taxes. If we lived in the town but somehow did not pay taxes, then I think you’d have a more compelling argument.

  6. Jeff,

    What about the family that moves into a town with young kids and realizes a few years later that the school district is in the crapper? If a parent’s goal is to make sure their kid gets the best education why should they be forced to send their kid to a school that won’t allow their kid to go to a better college?

    Improve the schools, which is going to be harder and harder and kids won’t go private.

    1. The schools here are terrific. And I don’t think you improve local schools by using tax payer funds to bus kids to other schools.

  7. For older kids a free pass on the public system should be used.
    Some cities that are large enough to have several High Schools have gone to a system where one school will focus on one thing, another on something else.
    For instance Einstein High can focus on science, Richard Petty high on mechanics, and Redford High on the arts.
    That way students with an inclination toward those subjects can attend a school more focused on their interests.
    They end up with students of similar interests and desires, and that way programs, such as the arts aren’t totally cut, but instead focused on.

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