Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Spending other people’s money


Waukesha Forward is coming out in favor of the Waukesha School District going to referendum, arguing that now all of the contracts have been settled, now is the time. They need to get a grip.

First, nobody knows what the actual impact of the current contract with the teachers will be. Nobody has seen the final version, and even then the financial impact is unknowable. The teachers’ insurance still hasn’t been put out to bid, the savings haven’t been allocated between the district and the union, and we still haven’t seen the new salary table and what the impact of that will be. Some of the details regarding compensation still have to be worked out and may still be subject to arbitration.

Second, the administration still hasn’t made serious attempts to control other costs. The school district still hasn’t closed underutilized schools. Redistricting to reduce transportation costs hasn’t been tried. Non-academic functions still are completely in-house expenses.

Third, we’re about to enter a period of transition in the administration where the current superintendent will soon be replaced by whom? Far better for the current school board to focus on the proper selection of a new superintendent than to try to fight an unpopular referendum fight under the aegis of an unpopular and uncredible school superintendent. Let a new regime make an assessment before the district goes begging for cash.

Fourth, referendum, what for? The district dropped it’s plan to blackmail the voters over extracurriculars. What program are they specifically advocating?

I keep asking, why the rush?

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