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Fewer Greene County school districts might be worth some discussionPosted Friday, August 3, 2007, at 8:55 PM
District 45 State Representative Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) probably raised some eyebrows of suspicion from area school administrators this week when he slightly suggested in a discussion about the current property tax mess Greene Countians are facing that now might be the time to think about trimming costs in a big way.
One way is obviously to curtail the amount of money that is spent in the county's five school districts for administrators and support staff.
I have never fully understood why this large county by area and small by population with just over 32,000 residents has to have five separate school districts. Each district has an administrator who's making nearly $90,000 a year in addition to a multiple number of principals, assistant principals, athletic directors, office staffs and so on.
This is not a personal attack on any of them. They all are doing an admirable job and providing our youngsters with incredible educational training.
It's about dollars and cents.
Borders noted that Greene County is a good example of how there is an overload of administrative costs involved with the operation of five separate school districts -- in a county with a small population.
While not suggesting there be a change in that setup, the Republican lawmaker said speaking from a fiscal view, a smaller consolidated administrative set up might be something worth exploring.
Other counties and community -- much larger than Greene County -- operate with a single superintendent and central administrative office.
Vigo County is a good example.
The lawmaker also pointed out that state government -- the governor and lawmakers -- are wrongly taking a lot of the heat for the current property tax situation.
It's true, the legislature and governor are responsible for the tax formula that is used to calculate property tax bills. But local units of government -- our schools, cities, towns and township bear a serious fiscal responsibility in the way they spend the property tax revenues they receive.
The state only receives a small fraction of the local property taxes collected. The bulk of the tax revenues are divided up among the local municipal bodies and schools.
Borders just might be right.
Now might be the time to think about how to creatively cut local spending before it's too late and property taxpayers take up residence on the "poor farm".
Two school districts in this county just might make better sense to the taxpayers.
What do you think?
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