Local Control Of Schools Is Not Always Best
Recently this newspaper published an editorial wherein they touted the advantages of local control especially during these tough economic times. However, local control is not always best. In fact at times it is very harmful to students and to taxpayers. For example: I am sure that every school superintendent and school board member was aware that FY 2010 was going to be a tough year economically with no letup for FY 2011. So common sense would have dictated a very cautious approach to spending in order to soften the crunch and the potential of eliminating positions, cutting some programs and negatively impacting the students they are required to serve. However, that “local control” allowed school districts to go on their merry way of spending as usual.
Statewide raises to teachers and administrators amounted to $22 million for the current school year with average raises in the local districts ranging from a low of $1,731 in Vallivue to a high of $3,501 in Nampa. Again, common sense would have dictated to local administrators and school boards to retain those funds for the “rainy day” that was sure to come.
Since the Legislature is now essentially funding 100% of our public schools current operation, perhaps they should also consider taking 100% control because it is obvious that local school boards and superintendents can not, or at least they did not exercise prudent fiscal responsibility when they agreed to spend that $22 million. Very few people support state control of our schools as most believe that schools should be controlled at the local level but “hard times” create tough choices.