|By Ken SmallSpecial to the Las Vegas TribunePart One of a Series
As a result of actions by the state legislature, voters will see an item on the 2014 ballot allowing yet another vote for a school district tax increase. This time it will be a tax on businesses that gross over $1 million annually.
While the state legislature debated the bill dictating the election item, followers of the liberal media have already heard how the teachers union plans to structure the debate. The plan is to have us debate that Walmart already makes too much and our children deserve a cut of the profits.
Although the tax increase is a Democratic Party initiative and the D’s are the majority party, implying a good chance of an affirmative vote, the teachers’ union has decided to start early in this campaign. The recent experience of a resounding “No” for a school district tax increase during the 2010 election has more significance for the perpetrators than it does for the public. One important factor in the loss is that while the school district has won all prior tax increase votes in modern memory, the state began requiring that ballot items have representatives on both sides of an issue after the most recent school tax increase vote that won. Without the distinct advantage of being able to pick both the writers of the FOR and AGAINST statements on the ballot, the school district lost in 2010.
Therefore during the upcoming election the union must rely more heavily on the remaining tools that it has at its disposal to convince democrats and independent voters to vote for a tax increase. Naturally, the success rate with Republicans and the Tea Party will be low.
Before the facts have a chance to get drowned out again by the teachers union and the liberal media, readers should be telling their friends, particularly Democrats and Independents, the following particularly salient facts:
1. Since the start of the Great Recession, there has been no reduction in funding at the Clark County School District (CCSD). As the general public had to tighten its collective belt, the school board used a smoke screen of so-called “Budget Cuts” to make the public believe that it (CCSD) was cutting. Actually, “Budget Cuts” at CCSD means increasing the amount of money REQUESTED and then reducing to more than CCSD got in prior years. This was done while the school board was whining publicly when the increased funding requested was not completely delivered. Those looking for details can see NPRI’s numbers for the facts.
2. During the Great Recession, while the typical family or business was tightening its budget, the school board increased the overhead of the school district and went more deeply into debt. During the 1998 school bond election and until the Great Recession the school board insisted that year around school was cheaper because operating fewer campuses and buying fewer buildings costs less. To conceal that it overbuilt many unneeded schools prior to the recession, CCSD reversed its position to insist that more schools cost LESS, and then it proceeded to build another five more unneeded schools during the recession.
3. CCSD is in the throes of “Great Change” and “Innovation.” Actually when pressed for examples of the dramatic innovation being implemented, the best that the school board can cite is the program whereby CCSD officials seek out failing students and beg them to stay in school. This innovation combines the work of bygone truant officers of the 1950s with modern political correctness. The other main form of innovation is the changing (lowering) of standards so that more kids/schools can pass the easier requirements. This was done because almost all of the schools in the valley failed the requirements of the federal “No Child Left Behind Program.”
Those three facts are the assumptions that the liberal media and the teachers union hope that voters do not understand. Without the underlying “Great Lies” the remainder of the campaign will not succeed.
This is Part One of a series on the 2014 school tax increase vote