February 2009 Your Turn

Just how bad will it get? Nobody knows for sure, but a majority of Your Turn readers (57 percent) agree that the recession’s impact on schools “will be severe, with, perhaps, personnel cuts, program reductions, etc.” The rest of you (43 percent) said it will have a “moderate impact.”

“When you rely on your state for funding almost entirely, and it is not doing well financially, then your only option is to go to the stakeholders for local support,” said Minnesota board member Carol Ladwig. “In economic times like this, getting that support is extremely difficult. And without adequate funding, it means staff, programs, activities, materials, and facilities for students and public education will, most likely, be negatively impacted.”

Illinois board member Julia Kennedy Beckman also was concerned about trying to raise taxes during a recession.

“Our district has a stable property tax base -- for now,” she said. “However, if property values decline, we would be adversely affected. In addition, if we want to make needed, large improvements to our physical plant and playing fields, we will have to conduct a referendum -- which has very little chance of passing when our taxpayers have no extra dollars to spend.” 

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