Published 11-20-2008

As a school board member I had a problem with the superintendent’s tendency to tell tall tales. That was why I could not bring myself to extend his tenure beyond the present school year. I left the board in June, so the new board majority might have caved in on that issue after I left.

The school tax bills just came, and is more of the same. The superintendent’s propaganda before the budget vote assured:" a tax levy increase of no more than 1.72%." After the voters were thus fooled to pass the budget, the tax increase was cranked up to 6.6%. That is what your tax bill says. My taxes went up with 8% and yours might be up even more because our assessors are apparently not aware that the country is in financial crises caused by declining real estate values.

Statistics show that much better education is provided elsewhere by spending about half as much per student. Another factor that should have triggered some restraint in spending is the fact that year after year we have less and less students. The student population is down 13% in six years but the taxes did not go down, they went up 73%!

We also received back more of our state taxes so the district projected a state aid increase of $1.4 million. Had that money been used to offset local taxes, we would pay 28% less in local school taxes. A property in Spencer with an assessed value of $24,000 would pay $490 less. The ongoing waste and mismanagement costs us dearly.

Rainer Langstedt