The article also attempts to smear Mitt Romney and other fellow Republicans for their support of reduced federal spending, claiming that Republicans don’t “consider a job to be economically significant unless it is in the private sector.”
Instead of acknowledging the failure of the so-called federal Stimulus to stimulate the economy in the long-term, The Times makes a desperate plea for Congress to pass a second federal Stimulus to prop up state and local governments, claiming, “putting educators back to work ultimately depends on Congress, where Republicans are blocking vital legislation to bolster a faltering economy.”
The “vital” legislation the Times refers to is President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which claims it will prevent 250,000 teacher layoffs, but never explains how or where Congress will get the money to do so. Rather, it instructs them to cut spending from somewhere – anywhere – to make the jobs act deficit neutral.
Furthermore, the Times entirely ignores the fact that the Republican controlled House of Representatives has passed 27 bills aimed at giving businesses the tools to create jobs and spark the economy, however they are awaiting action in the Democratic controlled Senate. Senate Democrats, not Republicans, are the parties responsible for blocking vital jobs legislation.
This editorial seems to suggest that state and local school districts cannot function properly if their budgets are reduced in order to balance the state’s budget.
According to the editorial, large numbers of educators are being laid off in the city of Reading, PA. Interestingly enough, a closer look at the budgeting practices of officials in Reading’s School District appears to highlight many instances of wasteful spending by school officials. It appears the schools are quite willing to spend large amounts of taxpayer money, just not to avoid teacher layoffs in the district.
Last December, the state auditor general reported that throughout the last 3.5 years, $76,000 had been spent on catering expenses for administrative meetings and school board meetings. The auditor’s report recommended that legal action be taken against these individuals.
In terms of pensions and benefits, Reading School District will spend $11 million on their retirees in 2013, putting Pennsylvania into the category of of states that have been ”forced to cut public employees because of unduly high pension benefits.” In those instances, the Times claims to “have supported state efforts to reduce those pensions,” yet it still attacks Pennsylvania for making cuts.
Reading School District has a history of dysfunction in their education system. In 2011 they were ranked 485th out of the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, based on graduation rates, reading proficiency, and math. Republicans want to cut spending, to avoid lavish, undeserved benefits for teachers that come at the expense of the taxpayers.
When a school district is ranked 485th out of the 500 schools in their state, and their administrators are spending tens of thousands of dollars on extravagant dinners for their meetings, requesting more federal taxpayer dollars is not the solution. Instead, school officials responsible for the spending should be removed.
If school districts such as Reading want to avoid teacher layoffs, administrators should look no further than their own coffers to find the money. Likewise, rather than blame Republicans in Congress for refusing to pass the the President’s vague jobs bill, Senate Democrats ought to consider passing one of the tens of jobs bills that has already been approved by the House of Representatives and get government out of businesses way.