In June 2006, our LMSD School Board authorized the single largest tax increase in LM’s history. Weirdly, it turns out… we really haven’t hired any more teachers, we really didn’t buy any more books, we really didn’t give everyone monster raises, and we didn’t do anything known to the public that could reasonably explain such a record-setting-high estimated increase in expenses. [Of course, any ‘officials’ are welcome to share their thoughts.] Critics argued that it was a dishonest budget, that the “books were being cooked” and that it was an attack on Democracy. (click here for chart)
Six months later, January 2007, the Board presents the new budget that will be made official in June 2007. This is the single smallest tax increase in LM’s history. Average LMSD increases are about 8%. Lowest increase in that last 20 years was about 5.2%. We’ll what do ya know… in the midst of the most massive spending ever undertaken… this increase is below 5%.
And adjusted, it is below the 3.4% voting threshold by 5/100ths of 1 % or $87,000. If the estimated expenditures were just about $87,000 higher, or 5/100ths of 1 % higher on this $175,000,000 annual budget, we would all be able to vote on this pending LMSD budget. So we all get this nice notice from LMSD last month. They are “pleased” no vote will be required. So we pay all these people their salaries, the state of PA tells us we can vote on excessive budgets, these people do their thing and report back to us with the news they are “pleased” to have just stolen our ability to vote. Didn’t some folks die for our freedom and right to vote?
LMSD’s approaching $32,000/student/year and is currently around $27,000/student/year. Radnor and Conestoga are around $10,000 less/student/year which means LMSD has an unexplained expense variance of $69,000,000/year based on enrollment of 6,900 students. The public has repeatedly asked for an explanation of this variance and has repeatedly asked for an audit. Anyone want to guess LMSD’s response? The variance has also been presented like this: outsource to Radnor or Conestoga, keep the $10,000/student/year savings and on graduation give each of our students $130,000 cash plus interest. Basically free college for all LMSD graduates and we wouldn’t have to pay $1.00 more than we are currently paying. Consider signing this petition found on the web at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/lmsd2007/ Thanks for your attention to this matter.
Bernard McNamee, LM resident.