Thursday, September 22, 2005

September 22, 2005 Same song, umpteenth verse, "more money"

Hamblen County School Board to Hamblen County Commission: We know the county budget is not balanced and the school budget is not balanced, but could we have $50,000 or $60,000 more, please?

The Hamblen County Commission passed all county and school budgets on August 4. The County General Government Fund has a deficit 05-06 budget, the County General Debt Fund has a deficit 05-06 budget, the County Road Department has a deficit 05-06 budget (with each of these departments planning to spend more than it expects to receive in revenues and hoping that revenues will somehow be higher than expected or expenses will be lower than expected.)

The Hamblen County School System also has a deficit 05-06 budget in spite of the fact that it received a total of $3.1 million in new money to spend in 05-06---$1.5 million of which came from a county (Hamblen County) that can't balance its own general government budget and $1.6 million of which came from new state BEP funding.

Now, seven weeks after all budgets were passed, the Hamblen County School System is coming hat in hand to the County Commission to ask for a "donation" of $50,000 or $60,000 for its International School. The International School was announced many months ago with grant funding from the Niswonger Foundation out of Greeneville.

The idea for this "school" is to take the growing ELL (English Language Learners) student population and bus these students from their home schools to a new "school" at Walters State for 1/2 day of instruction and then bus them back to their home schools.

Jefferson Federal Foundation has apparently offered to give the school system $50,000 or $60,000 toward the International School, but there are strings attached to this gift. They say they will only give the money to the school if the City of Morristown provides a matching amount and if the County provides a matching amount. Hence, today's request for a "donation."

I had one person ask why Jefferson Federal didn't challenge other area banks to match its contribution. I was talking to someone else who thought that Jefferson Federal should consider the $1.5 million in new local money that has already been provided to the schools as the county's "match."

What will happen when the time comes to vote on the donation? Who knows?

It was just a little over 3 years ago (May 2002) that voters were persuaded to vote for extending the temporary wheel tax in the infamous "pick your poison" referendum.

Since then, the wheel tax has been made permanent, there have been two recent property tax increases, subdivisions have been added to the county's tax rolls, debt has been refinanced, money has been switched from fund to fund, and a litigation tax has been added. End result of all this new and extended tax revenue and growth: the county still cannot balance its government budget, its road budget, or its general debt budget.

The School Board is doing no better. It can't balance its budget even though it has new state and local money totaling $3.1 million dollars for 05-06.

If you have more and more taxes and revenue and you still cannot balance your budget, that is a spending problem-- a spending problem that is marked by little, or no, fiscal discipline.

With government at all levels, if something sounds good, the vote is do it, buy it, spend, borrow--go in debt, whatever it takes.

It seems like the only people who have to live within their means are the taxpayers.

1 comment:

SJM--AZ said...

Linda,
I hope the commissioners recognize the real purpose of this "International school," and as usual, it isn't the version touted by the School Board.

The Real Purpose: to continue providing special and extra services and privileges to "international students" (i.e. illegal immigration students) where parents and other students can't see what's being done.

Educational bureaucrats deeply resent the complaints by parents that American students can't get tutoring while illegal immigration students have all the tutoring they want. Parents have registered complaints with county commissioners, who have made those complaints public. The only response by educational bureaucrats is that they're "sure" that's not happening or that they're "not aware" of any student being denied tutoring. American parents have also been referred to private tutors for the service (and of course the parents will pay dearly at $50 hourly) while illegal immigration students get all the help they want for free.

(I do want to be clear what "illegal immigration students are. They include both illegal alien students as well as the "anchor babies" or "jackpot babies" who are touted by their champions as "they're American citizens, just like you and I."

Yes, they're American citizens, but not like you or I. The kids were born in the US because the parents jumped the border just in time for the baby to be dropped on US soil, generally at a hospital where the parents don't pay a dime and leave the bill for taxpayers. The baby is an American citizen despite the parents being illegal aliens, and is eligible for all the public benefits, and the illegal alien members of the family "piggy-back" on the subsidized rent, food stamps, welfare payments, utility subsidies, free day care, and the rest. Easy to see why the kids are called "jackpot babies."

That's why I use the term "illegal immigration students" because these "jackpot babies" wouldn't have been born in the US had the federal government done its constitutionally-required job and stopped illegal immigration. Schooling these "jackpot babies" is just as much a cost to taxpayers of illegal immigration as the actual illegal alien students.)

So, back to the purpose of the "International Schools." School officials hope to bus illegal immigration students to a separate location to receive their special extras away from where they're observed by legal American parents and students. "out of sight, out of mind" is the idea.

Have Hamblen County residents forgotten that last year when Commissioner Tom Lowe suggested sending non-English speaking students to a separate school, where legal American English-speaking students wouldn't be hindered by having slower-learning non-English speakers in their classs, School Superintendent Dale Lynch threw up his hands in horror. It was all reported in the June 11 2004 edition of the Citizen-Trash:
'Lowe suggested, "We (Hamblen County) could put them all in one school," a comment that stirred Dr. Dale Lynch, Director of Schools for Hamblen County. Lynch said there is one big problem with that - segregation.'

Interesting that when Tom Lowe suggests anything that would help legally-present American students, Dr. Lynch jumps at the chance to paint the "racist-segregation" label on it.

But when it would help Dr. Lynch with his personal agenda (promotiing illegal immigration students and penalizing American students), suddenly it's OK.

I believe that's called being a hypocrite.

I do hope the Hamblen County Commission votes NO on this money.

But if a majority of Commissioners DO vote the money for a special "international school," I hope parents won't sit quietly. Tell Dale Lynch you want your children bussed to the "international school" because you want your children to get an "international education." Don't listen to his lame excuses of why your children aren't eligible for the "international school."

Further, organize a group of parents to monitor what occurs at the "international school." The sessions may be held on private property, but so long as they're conducted with public money, they're public school sessions and open to parent visits, whether or not your children attend there.

Each day, have a parent at the "international school" to see for themselves the special educational services that illegal immigration childen receive and your children are denied. Write down the number of students, the teachers who teach these sessions and anything else that will show how much money and resources these "international students" require.

Outraged Americans are demanding to know how much money and resources are spent on illegal immigration students, and that's something Dale Lynch and his administrators don't want you to know.

They want to hide all these special services "behind closed doors" where they want to convince the public that they can't observe. Don't let them get away with it.

And a special word to Tennesseeans from a resident of a Western state: Thank your lucky stars for the Tennessee system whereby schools are funded by county commissioners.

In states where I've lived (California, Nevada, and Arizona), school districts have the ability to tax and the school board members miss no opportunity to use it. You can bet the farm that such a system is at the top of Dale Lynch's "gift to himself" list every Christmas. He despises having to answer questions from the county commissioners every time he wants more money.

Also, thank your lucky stars for county commissioners who don't rubber-stamp Lynch's endless money needs, like LInda Noe, Tom Lowe, Larry Baker, and Bobby Reinhart.