A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Racine answers the challenge

Just yesterday I noted how the Mequon-Thiensville school district was making an effort to take the title of worst school district in the state away from Racine Unified. Talk about stepping up to a challenge! Today comes word that RUSD is, surprise, again waaaaaaaaaaaay short of being able to make ends meet, and is facing a $10.5 million shortfall for the '06-'07 school year.

And what is RUSD school board's answer to this not-exactly-new crisis? Appoint a committee to decide when to hold a referendum and how much to ask the tax payers for THIS time. Of course, RUSD's hands are tied to a large degree by the fact that 85% of their budget is personnel related-- much of it health care and pension benefits for the teachers. Thanks WEAC.

WEAC is the teacher's union here in Wisconsin. The union totally unwilling to budge on having members pay anything, ANYTHING, towards their Rolls Royce of a health care plan. The union spent many millions of dollars getting Jim Doyle elected (perhaps those union dues could've gone toward... oh I don't know... education?), and millions more opposing school choice-- a program parents overwhelmingly support. But I digress. Because of WEAC's intransigence, school district's are hamstrung as more and more of their budgets has to go to pay huge health care benefit costs, leaving less and less money for operations and special activities.

But hey-- Racine has provided the model for the state! Simply form a committee to determine the best way to frame a referendum, because I'm sure the taxpayers won't mind ponying up again. I mean, we'd probably just waste that money on improving our homes or taking a family vacation or paying off our own doctors' bills.

You know-- silly stuff.


Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.
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