Editor, The Spotlight:
The 2014-2015 school budget season is upon us. Wednesday the 26th of February, we were treated to a long State of the District presentation and then the opening shot of budget planning. Other than the Students in Government and employees of the school district, there were very few district residents there. I wondered what the purpose of it all was.
Although the devil will be in the details, we probably won’t have a lot of issues in this year’s budget. I still believe that the special ed budget is again being inflated, and no one is willing to speak to why Bethlehem is such a regional target. We must be doing things that are not mandated.
What is becoming evident is that the sources of all the stress are our politicians and state bureaucrats. We put people like Cuomo, Breslin and Fahey in office and then wonder why, despite pious mouthings, nothing changes. I tried talking to Breslin at a school board meet and greet about unfunded mandates, and it was like talking to a brick wall! There is no local control of tenure, retirement and a myriad of other issues that complicate running a school district.
Also becoming clear is that the residents of the district’s lethargic attitude towards all this is not going to change. Unless someone’s ox is gored, no one cares. Cut a pool or a sports team and listen to them squeal! More taxes, sure why not. We need some new qualified candidates for the school board but no one wants to step up. Without community interest and support, I don’t blame them.
So, sit back and relax folks.
- Philip W. Carter