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F.A.I.R Comes Home to Roost

Now that county tax payers are getting their statements and realizing that, in most cases, there was absolutely no benefit in county tax dollars for having had the F.A.I.R. plan forced on them, budget crunches at the schools affected are starting to hit home with an even worse new reality of budget cuts:

Tough Choices for School Districts – 13WHAM.com

Wendy Lane said, “You want to cut some of the special-ed services, and then you want to cut some of the higher-education services. Well, what are you saying? You want these students to just be middle-of-the-road type of students?”

And that’s the rub of school tax cuts: no matter what you cut, you are basically denying students a certain segment of their education. High-performers who would be better-educated in honors classes – and possibly fail out of boredom in general-ed classes – might have to face losing their honors classes. Kids who need a leg up just to pass might face losing out on their best teachers. And of course, the music programs always take a hit when budget cuts happen.

And remember: either tax increases or budget cuts are the only options, here. Unlike the Monroe County budget, school budgets are by law restricted from running deficits of any kind for any reason.  So not only do tax payers get no budget savings from the F.A.I.R. plan, but in fact they may be looking at significant tax increases in the near future.

It didn’t have to be like this. It could at least have had the support of the public. But no, that’s not how Maggie Millions rolls, baby. She’s the decider.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.