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Vox Pop - Don’t be too quick to praise school for fiscal restraint

Vox Pop

Before we bestow green eyeshades, sleeve protectors, and quill pens to the Medford School Board for “leadership in fiscal restraint” we should dig a little deeper into some of the proposed spending that is being discussed by the Board.

It is true the Board put the schnitz on the various lighted signs being proposed by the school administration. But still hanging out there is the Raider Field Plaza and another run at a school referendum.

The Board is proposing to spend $200,000 for the Raider Field Plaza. This would appear to be an outward luxury and not increase the ability of the District to educate our students in an increasingly competitive world. Maybe we can put in a Starbucks to raise revenue?

Just like the unstoppable villain in a grade-B Hollywood horror movie, another referendum is set to rear its ugly head in the Medford School District. Will the “ community meetings and listening sessions” have genuine input or just be a dog and pony show that will generate a desired outcome for the school administration?

All of this leads me to ask the same question as the late, great Earl Gillespie asked in his Wisconsin Finance commercials in the late 1960’s, “Where is the money coming from?” But this time the answer is not Wisconsin Finance.

Returning to the topic of school vouchers, one Board member appears to believe the voucher program solely exists to rob public schools of much needed revenue. That is incorrect. What school vouchers do is give parents concerned with underperforming public schools the option to send their children to schools that will better educate their children. The concept behind school vouchers is that public schools will be forced to improve their outcomes through competition. Better public schools, what is wrong with that?

— Bryan T. Bormann, Medford