vendredi, novembre 02, 2007

"I've been here 40 years, watching my city die, and it kills me."

This, the words of Ahmie-Woma Farkas, a west side resident. "These property taxes you are putting on these citizens are forcing out the middle class".

The citizens of this city put out an excellent showing last night at the MPS building. I find it amazing that everyone did this. It's pretty hard to piss people off in this city enough to take a stand, and that's sad. In this case I am encouraged.

MPS still managed to eek out an 9% increase. In other words, they overshot, and got half of what they wanted. If they asked for a 21% increase, they'd have gotten 11.

But now they have some idea about where the edges of this thing are, this public who is withholding its funds from those of us who know better.

From the J/S
"The administration and the Board of School Directors are in a quandary," Andrekopoulos said.

If MPS does not spend up to the cap allowed by the state, it will be hurt financially in the future and lose state aid it would otherwise get, and the spending he has proposed will help MPS pursue higher achievement for students, he said.

He said there were three options: sue the state over its funding formulas; make cuts "that would have an extremely negative impact on the children of Milwaukee"; or have "double-digit tax increases until the state develops new funding formulas."

I've got some ideas, sir.

Using mental elbow grease is FREE.

You don't need to sue anyone, you just need your system to step up to the plate. If you were a P&L entity, you'd be kicking ass and taking names to systemically repair MPS. Because failure in the real world means you have to close your doors. I wish you had that pressure.

The children are important. We get that. We are here for the children though and not the MPS administration. We employ YOU to manage and lead the system so that they can get the best possible education. If you refocus your priorities on the CHILDREN and stop overfunding nanny state initiatives, teacher and administration salaries and benefits, you'd have the funds you need. Did I mention mental elbow grease is free? So is effort.

Inefficiency is one of the most expensive, low ROI investments I can think of.

Last thought to MPS.

The nanny state has no limits to how costly it is. I know Imagine is a nice song, I know that you've been fed a lot of lines about social justice. And it is right to guide lives and make sure that the things they need are happening. But there is a big gap between ideals, and the actions that make them reality.

But it's called accountability and boundaries. You're overstepping yours. Do you understand the connection between those actions and these results? They are results. Just not the ones you want.

Last thought to the citizens of the City.

It is up to us to keep MPS accountable. They didn't have to get this far up to their necks. Pressure from the outside - not just talk like talk radio - would have kept MPS in line and within budget and reason.

We can't fear the stigma of political correctness when giving feedback and making demands about how our money is spent and how our children's education is structured.

Both sides hide behind political correctness. The public is afraid to touch a situation for fear of it. And the entity hiding behind political correctness uses it to shield themselves from being criticized.


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