Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why public schools don't work, continued...

Subheading: Accountability to taxpayers

[Newsday] ...[A]ttempts to cap school spending have largely failed on Long Island so far -- a point underscored in local districts that have scheduled budget revotes on June 17.

Five of seven districts whose budgets were rejected last month have decided next year's spending will exceed the state's austerity cap of 3.36 percent, even if local voters say "no" a second time. Another district, East Moriches, which has decided against a revote, plans to exceed the cap as well.

District officials note that the extra spending is perfectly legal under an expanding list of exempted expenses approved by state lawmakers at the urging of teacher unions and other education groups...

Taxpayer groups contend that exemption overuse has made spending caps a sham. An advisory commission backed by Gov. David A. Paterson proposed earlier this week reforming the system by adopting new tax caps with no such exemptions.

"The system is broken," said commission chairman Nassau Executive Thomas Suozzi. "There are so many exceptions that even if you vote a budget down, your property taxes still go up, in some cases by more than if you voted for the budget",,,

"They can do what they want - it's off the wall," said Barbara Grosswald, a retired CPA.