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LETTER: Schools could 'do without' in some areas, like the rest of us

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Our school board raised its tax rate recently after the superintendent said they needed to raise taxes or “do without.”  I really do feel sorry for them, but who isn’t doing without this year?
Kiplinger says that the median household income of American families is down 6.7 percent in the last two years. More people are seeking food and rent assistance from donors who are making less. The houses on both sides of me have been in foreclosure. My own mortgage, quite affordable 10 years ago, has gone up with property taxes every year along with fuel and other expenses, while my net income has gone down.
Where could the schools “do without” like the rest of us?
Transportation is a huge issue, and much of the cost there could have been avoided with common sense. Taylorsville is the obvious location for the middle and high school, but having two elementary schools — and a proposed third — in or near Taylorsville instead of putting one in the part of the county where most of the children live violates that common sense.
Before the people wanting to bully us with sewers cry, I need to point out that I once taught on a campus with a high school, elementary school, and vocational school and a total of over 3,000 students sharing its sewage treatment facility because there were no sewers in the area. It worked fine.
That aging bus fleet has too many full-sized buses that I see with way less than a full load and could be replaced by short buses. I’ve seen a big bus taking a few kids from Maple Avenue to TES; by the time it circles the block to the school entrance, it is taking a longer route than the kids would take on the short walk to the school. Students in subdivisions with a road too narrow for the bus walk to the main road, but others get door-to-door service that wastes fuel. A bus often stops, starts and then stops again in a couple of houses, even where there is plenty of room for a safe walk and a safe stop, like the wide shoulders on 155.  Maybe the schools could “do without” this pampering and save some of our money.
Another big expense is textbooks, but some classes provide all that is needed to pass by videos. If the schools aren’t going to raise standards by requiring kids in regular classes to read the book to pass, they could provide books for those who are actually willing to read them and save plenty of money.
The school board just needs to look at its own badly underpaid classified employees to see that its taxpayers are “doing without.”  Many of us are “doing without” just to pay ever increasing taxes.
 
Carl Fahringer
Taylorsville