The North Hampton School Board is in a battle with the North Hampton Budget Committee over whether there will be a 4.5% increase over the last budget, or a 2% increase - the Bud Com originally wanted an increase of only 1.5%.
What would spur the School Board to go for all the gusto?
Simple, the final payment on a construction bond was some $473,000.00 and the School Board doesn’t want to see that money ever go away.
What else are school bonds for anyway if not a spending ratchet that never backs off?
The Bud Com has some reasoning to back up their suggested 2% increase, which could be argued should be a $473,000.00 cut from the last budget.
"I don't think anyone on the Budget Committee would support a 4.5 percent increase," Budget Committee Chairman Paul Martino said. "What we were trying to do (by setting a 1.5 percent increase target) is to look at what taxpayers could afford to pay (based on wage information obtained from federal and state sources)."
But the School Board has a pat answer for that reasoning:
“Sweet (SB Member) countered that it was unfair for North Hampton children to suffer because of changes at the state level. "If you take a position away, our kids don't have those services," he said. "Because the state put (retirement costs) on our plate, it is different from health care (costs, which are determined by contracts negotiated between the School Board and teacher unions)."
Whoa, did you catch that statement?
"Because the state put (retirement costs) on our plate,”
If eduspeak memory serves me at all, the placing of costs on the school and changes at the state level, means less money for the children which is often described as SLASHING the budget if a taxpayer suggested doing it.
Roll the dice School Board. Go for the extension of the construction bond payments after they bond is paid off. That is probably what taxpayers want to see in an economy like this.
Find out what happens at the March Meeting.