Paul Price's indignation over the teacher contract negotiation is comical considering the deaf ear the school board displayed towards citizens' expense concerns as they twice defeated the UHS funding referendums. His "real world" outrage foreshadows a systemic funding deficiency facing the UCFSD.
A $70,049,336 operating budget with a $486,034 deficit and the potential to grow to over $1 million depending on contract negotiations forces the administration to do more with less.
The board's decision to fund the UHS project under Act 1 diverts new revenues to debt service, a marginal increase of $924,988 for 2009-10 over the 2008-09 cycles. These funds would otherwise be available to operate a top rated district.
A referendum, deficit financing and cost containment are available remedies. Each has its perils and pitfalls. Under any pretense or cover, a referendum is round three for the UHS project financing. Increased debt creates financial stress and solvency issues. With the overall quality of education weighing in the balance, class sizes and resources will be adjusted to contain costs.
Ironically there will be new classrooms with "real world" constraints on filling them. Financing long-term assets with short term funding sources is a recipe for disaster and provides our school board with a teachable moment.
Glenn L. Best
E. Marlborough Township