How many hits can the schools keep taking? Last year, the state promised $400,000 to the schools, but failed to send it.
This year, our board of supervisors took $540,000 from the schools to give to parks and recreation. It was justified by promising to replace the funds if or when carryover funds became available later.
During the last two years, the schools have had about $1 million removed from their needs based budget. Why couldn’t parks and recreation wait for maybe, possible funds from carryover money? Education is expensive, as anyone who has paid for college knows.
Here are a couple of ideas to help fund the schools:
First, give the $400,000 promised to the developer of the Fieldstone project to the schools. The developer will have to repay those funds when their project becomes more student housing, not the affordable/senior housing they planned to build.
Second, start collecting personal property taxes from the student vehicles parked in the county. It is state law, and a win/win for the county and students. Our personal property taxes are less than what is paid in other jurisdictions.
Another consideration is to look at the smaller counties near Montgomery, who operate with less than 10 percent of our county budget. They have the same legal mandate for government services, courts, schools, jails and constitutional officers.
How do they do it? Simply, by living within their means. They have fewer luxuries paid for with public money.
In some cases, their luxuries are paid for with private money from foundations, local donors or grants.
We need to stop taking money from our schools and start looking for ways to fund all the needs of our schools.