Public schools are using inflation to extort taxpayers

Like Hayek once Argued, The history of the world can be portrayed as the history of inflation. After all, inflation affects everything from egg prices to the cost of egg collection and transportation.

When we think of inflation, however, we almost never think of the public education system. Yet public schools are not uniquely exempt from the effects of inflation. The prices of basic items like books, papers, pencils and school lunches have risen significantly in recent months. As anyone with a car knows, oil and diesel, which are needed to drive a large fleet of school buses, have become ridiculously expensive. These problems are only complicated by prolonged supply-chain disruptions.

For example, many school districts have a choice: they can either take responsibility and cut the extra fat off their money, or they can beg for more money from taxpayers in the form of tax increases and new bonds. Naturally, being a government entity, most school districts have chosen the latter. Even in the midst of an epidemic and countless cultural wars, most parents still believe in their local public school system. Districts are abusing that trust for cash.

It is a common myth that public schools, especially in light of recent inflation, are stuck for cash. They don’t. In fact, American public school costs are 34 percent higher than in other developed countries. But what cash is in public schools is not financial. Stories of huge amounts of debt and luxurious, taxpayer-funded leisure parties are commonplace. And these stories only intensified when schools were given billions of dollars in epidemic relief funds.

For example, look no further than Mesa Public Schools (MPS) in Arizona. Teachers have appealed to parents for basic supplies such as paper and pencils, as the district has claimed they no longer have the funds to provide them. The MPS asked the state to cover the 5 million deficit in transportation costs, of which the state provided about $ 2 million. Yet MPS has refused to explain where the $ 32.3 million went to the epidemic relief fund and now some grassroots activists are demanding a state audit.

Even in districts that are accurately reporting their spending, it’s easy to see where most of the money is going. Although spending on students and teachers has increased over the past few decades, central administration spending has exploded. And there are plenty of examples of administrators being paid unreasonably. As Because Aaron Smith noted that the superintendent of the Tatum Independent School District in Texas is paid more than $ 233,000 annually to supervise a district of just 1,716 students. In addition, the Miami Dead School Board has approved only a six-figure salary – equivalent to that of an assistant superintendent – Maribel Bruskantini Dotres, who works in human resources. She may also be the wife of the superintendent.

But instead of making some administrative cuts, the districts are asking for more money from taxpayers. Oklahoma City Public School has not asked voters for a bond in 12 years, but they plan to do so now. Texas 205 proposed bonds carried a record amount of debt in May (104 bonds passed). New York voters approved 99 percent of the proposed school budget, including many large-scale tax increases.

People are fighting to buy groceries, pay for gas and put a roof over their heads. The shortage of child sources is still ongoing. While the budget concerns of school districts arising from inflation are understandable, they are not an excuse to treat the public like a money tree that never blooms. In such situations, the school district is not treating the community like a partner who needs their help when they need it. Instead, the public is being lied to, abused and taken advantage of in the line of administrative pockets. With this abuse in mind, it is not surprising that more and more involved parents are supporting the school choice policy.

While not much can be done in the short term to alleviate public school surpluses, taxpayers should at least be aware that public schools are using inflation as an excuse to extort money from them. These excesses can hurt, but they should be remembered in the ballot box or in the testimony of the legislature. After all, there are options.

Garion Frankel

Garion Frankel is a graduate student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, with a focus on education policy and management. He is a graduate Fellow of AIER, a Young Voices contributor and a breaking news reporter for Chalkboard Review.

Receive notifications of new articles from Garion Frankel and AIER.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.