In the City of Tempe November 3rd election, a $77 million bond will be on the ballot for the Tempe Elementary School District. There is a group dedicated to passing this bond, but very few people seem to be opposing it.
by Nick Coons
If the bond passes, the $77 million will be used to retrofit and/or replace smaller and less efficient buildings across the district. For a homeowner with a home value of $100,000, it'll add $21.74/year in property taxes. No wonder there is a larger push to pass it than to oppose it.
However, the real question (putting aside the fact that taxes are theft, and therefore, evil) is whether or not the district really needs this money and if it will be wisely spent. The answer is a resounding No! Here's why:
In 2008, Arizona spent nearly $10 billion on education from all sources. That breaks down to about $9,700 per student. This is 20% more than the amount spent per student on charter schools, who do not have facility issues and whose students out-perform those of the public school system. It also works out to be a quarter of a million dollars per 25-student classroom. Private schools spend even less, and still provide a better education.
The real reason school facilities are in less than ideal conditions is because the money currently allocated is being horribly wasted. The amount of inflation-adjust dollars spent today, per student, is double that from 1970, and we have nothing to show for it. There are many ways to improve education, and none of them involve throwing more money at the problem.
If you're a Tempe resident, be sure to vote No on this measure on November 3rd. If you think the Tempe Elementary School District honestly has a need for extra funds and will use them to better education, then feel free to write them a check. But don't make the rest of us pay for that poor judgment with a Yes vote.
Bond Passes, Education Won't Get Better, We Lose - Nick Coons
Obama Speaks to School Children - Nick Coons
I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Gonna Listen Anymore! - Kimberly Ruff