(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
After some boilerplate chest beating over the injunction granted in Nevada, which is under appeal, NVESA opponent Shelia Leslie has the following to say in the Reno News Review:
In Washoe County, our crowded schools are about to get worse thanks to the large businesses attracted by the state’s economic development giveaways and their new employees’ thousands of children. As predicted, the committee tasked with choosing which taxes should be raised to build more schools has decided to ask voters to agree to a substantial increase in local sales and/or property tax in November, raising $600-800 million.
Tray Abney, a lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce, is worried about his son who attends an especially crowded south Reno elementary school. He told KUNR, “We can’t fit the kids we have now, much less the Tesla kids and the Switch kids and the other kids that are coming here.” So much for the arguments that growth pays for itself and that these new subsidized jobs are for people who already live here.
The tax proposal seems unlikely to pass unless the school district’s superintendent, Traci Davis, and the companies most responsible for the sharp uptick in projected students are willing to put their “skin in the game.”
Davis and Tesla could voluntarily offer a “claw-back” on the ridiculously generous taxpayer-funded handouts they demanded and were provided by the school board and the Legislature. Davis could give back her five-month longevity bonus, her attorney fees, and her back-dated extra salary compensation. That gesture might start the healing that is necessary for the taxpayers to regain confidence in the district’s leadership.
Tesla’s billionaire executive, Elon Musk, and his stockholders could offer to build an elementary school or two instead of insulting us with their $37.5 million “donation” to Nevada’s schools, since we’ll have to wait 20 long years before realizing any sales tax from their megafactory.
If they’re not willing to help fund new schools, why should we?
Right, so let me see if I can get this straight. Nevada schools are already overcrowded with many schools surrounded by trailer parks staffed by substitute teachers who often don’t have so much as a BA degree. Check. The willingness of taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for new facilities has limits, including apparently the author who has begun to fantasize about “voluntary claw backs.” Check. The Census Bureau projects continued enrollment growth for as far as the eye can see. Oh and by the way your Baby Boomers are retiring and will need additional health spending and generate less tax revenue. Check, check, check…and check. So obviously a scholarship program that would have allowed 4,000 students to seek an alternative to said overcrowded system this year for less overall money per pupil must therefore be stopped at all cost!
Ground control to Major Kong….you might want to think this over a bit more.