Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Neshaminy's NIMBY

The phrase Not In My Backyard is usually associated with controversial land development projects or building new prisons, but it became quite apparent during last night's public meeting that NIMBY applies to our latest budget crisis. Everyone agrees that the budget deficit is unacceptable, but nobody wants to feel the impact of dealing with it.

Allow me to summarize based on public comments from last night . . .

* This $11 million deficit is unacceptable (on this, I think we all agree)
* We do not want a tax increase (quite understandable)
* But do not cut any programs, not even 8th grade foreign language or 10th grade phys ed (that's going to make it tougher so maybe we will eliminate some support staff jobs)
* Do not cut support staff jobs as they already gave at the office (oh, ok. Not sure what's left)
* The teachers put us into this situation so they should suffer (how do we do that? We can't cut their pay or benefits, not even for retirees. We can't lay off teachers unless we consolidate or eliminate student programs)
* We said do not cut programs (that leaves us with a single option of raising taxes)
* We said no tax increases (Is it November yet???)

So our marching orders are to eliminate the $11 million deficit without raising taxes, cutting programs, laying off support staff or violating the past practices of the expired NFT CBA. Got it! We'll get back to you.

In the meantime, you can read more about last night's meeting in this Courier Times article from Christian Menno, and below is a report from Fox 29 with the latest news on the ongoing teachers contract impasse.

Double Bad News For Neshaminy:

1 comment:

Karl said...

I suggested this predicament here a long time ago. Every wants lower taxes but no one wants to give up anything they currently get as a result of the taxes they pay. "Lower my taxes, but cut someone else's benefits."

The premise that "throwing money at the schools" has not resulted in improved (or perhaps even acceptable) education doesn't logically imply the conclusion that taking money away, especially in large quantities, as Governors Corbett and Christie are trying to do, will improve things. Money that's being poorly spent needs to be re-purposed and schools need to spend the money they are allocated as efficiently as possible. But starving the schools can only make things much worse.

We will not have a second chance to educate the children now in school, whose opportunity is now, today, not at some future time, once the schools (the ones in the public system, anyway) have been destroyed and eventually rebuilt in whatever image the public decides it wants.