Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Perhaps Eastview High Should Offer a Course About Effective Propaganda Writing

In their ongoing effort to separate more and more tax dollars from south metro residents, the good folks of Independent School District 196 mailed out anooooooooother "Referendum Official Notice and Information" sheet. Contained in what can only be described as a taxpayer-funded propaganda tract, where these helpful facts:

High Achieving
District 196 is a high-achieving district in numerous performance indicators, with students consistently scoring above average on state and national tests, and earning high numbers of state and national awards for outstanding performance in cocurricular academic, athletic and fine arts competitions.

Remember: they want you to vote "yes" on the referendum. So it's really not helpful to their cause when they follow up that nice summary of the district's glowing accomplishments with:

Low Spending
District 196 continues to spend less money per pupil than the average school district statewide ($537 less per pupil), in the Twin Cities metro area ($346 less per pupil) and among it's member districts in the Lake and Classic Lake conferences ($589 less per pupil).

M-kay. So if the district is achieving such superior results with less money (and has since time immemorial, as you'd know if you've ever broached the subject with any current or former 196 employee), why do they think that -

Um, excuse me. I need to adjust the appearance of the text so as to adequately reflect the severity of my rage at these bozos trying to put what will amount to a $300 hit on my property taxes should all three levies pass:

[tinkering] Here we go:

HOW THE HELL CAN THEY BE ASKING FOR MORE MONEY EVERY SINGLE F*CKING YEAR WITHOUT FEELING THE SLIGHTEST PANG OF EMBARRASSMENT????!!!!!!

Er, maybe - just maybe - There's more to the school success equation than the size of a school districts treasury. Good luck telling these fools that.

Of course they will just argue with a toothy smile, "Oh, but just imagine how much *better* we can do with more money." Which will provoke the obvious (but nonetheless valid) argument of "how much is enough?" And then, as always, the whole debate will descend into this typical Mobius Strip reasoning until the district is able to slide another one past the electorate in a low-turnout off-year election.

At some point, the tax burden will force residents to move to other districts. I guess that's how we'll know "how much is enough."

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