EDITORIAL: Rock the (school budget) vote

Come Tuesday, May 21, you will get your annual chance to directly weigh in on your school district. It’s a late-May annual rite that never seems to change – at least, not as of late.

It is fair to say we’ve settled into a new status quo when it comes to school budgets: residents should expect to pay more for less.

Those who keep an eye on both their school district and their tax bill would be hard pressed to come to any other conclusion. And come Tuesday, voters across the state will head to the polls to say something about it by voting on budgets, propositions and their school board representatives.

The reasons for the ongoing state of affairs are many-fold, and when it comes time for finger pointing almost everyone tends to have a valid point or two. Administrators in local districts are correct when they say their receipt of state aid has been on a steep downslope in recent years. And at the state level, it’s been noted districts don’t always handle schooling in the most efficient way possible. And while teachers tend to be underpaid in our opinion, they are also beneficiaries of a pension and healthcare system that – like Social Security and every other age-dependent entitlement program in the land – is placing a tremendous fiscal pressure on government and taxpayers that is unlikely to alleviate anytime soon.

We wish all this pointed to a clear direction for voters to take when heading to the polls next week, but it really doesn’t. These realities only demonstrate that change – major change – is needed should our educational system have a chance to become universally strong. Sadly, in many cases there isn’t much of a choice to be had when it comes to school board elections. So what’s most important is you get out there to show you care about that system.

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