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Another Tax Hike for the East Penn School District, Is it really ‘for the children’?

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Increased Taxes

The vote for the proposed 2015-2016 budget with a 3.8% tax hike was 8-1.  Lynn Donches was the only vote opposed to the budget.  Ms. Donches brought up the fact that 65% of the budget is for faculty and staff salaries and benefits.  Industry averages 40%.  How often do we hear the refrain that “it’s for the children”?  To reduce the tax hike 10% cuts were made in school building budgets and to the central office, there will be less music for the music departments, less equipment for physics classes at the High School, author visits will be cut back, repairs put off, and book purchases cut as salaries and benefits grow.

It has been stated that we need to hire the ‘best of the best’ in order to stay competitive with other districts, and so it becomes a vicious cycle of keeping up with the Jones’s – in this case the Parkland School District! And at whose expense – the taxpayers, many of whom are not privy to the same economic gains.

A majority of teachers choose their profession because they love to impart knowledge and they have a love for children.  Hopefully, they  do not go into the field with dollar signs floating in their minds.  Would the East Penn School District really see less resumes come their way if the salaries were not as high as they are?  I think not, and that would make all the difference to the budget.  Maybe then programs ‘for the children’ would not have to be cut.

Keep that in mind at the next union contract negotiations.  In addition, each salary increase causes increases  in the pensions, which has a direct correlation to the existing pension crisis.  It would be interesting to see how many administrators, teachers, and staff would actually leave their jobs if they did not receive the ‘best of the best’ in salary increase.  If they do leave, maybe they were not the ‘best of the best’ for the children after all.  Try it next time!  It may be a blessing for all of us!!

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