Friday, May 18, 2018

They need to hear from the mayor

OPSB put off a decision on that Industrial Tax Exemption we were just talking about.  I wanted to highlight one quote in particular.
Board member Ben Kleban, who proposed the resolution, moved to defer it because the school board hasn’t gotten buy-in from the city.

“We need to hear the voice of our new mayor on this issue, because it does cross multiple government entities,” Kleban said.
It is common to rebuke anyone who tries to bring up education policy during the mayor/council election cycle with a dismissive, "But they don't have anything to do with the schools!" type comment. Obviously, that isn't true in practice since we're in the bizarre position of having to weigh school funding against "economic development."

One issue that hasn't been discussed yet is the way certain of the local charter operators depend on donations from companies who benefit from the tax exemption. In other words, a select community of privileged business owners gets to choose which schools benefit from their contributions. Inequality is baked into the charter system in a myriad of ways. This is one the school board has the power to undo.  It's something they're going to study.. "aggressively" now.
Thursday, the board approved a substitute resolution that creates a working group to develop a long-term strategy for the program.

The group must present its recommendations by October, which Kleban praised as an “aggressive timeline.”

He said he was optimistic that the group could come up with a plan that could do more than a one-time allocation.

“Though this isn’t the same as my original proposal,” he said, “it has the potential to be even bigger.”
Waiting on the mayor now, I guess. 

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