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BUDGETS Getting spoiled in good times

The OBSERVER’s View

There is not much time for Boards of Education — and the public — to soak in the coming school budget votes that take place in June. It’s a changing situation, but one thing is certain: districts are desperate.

Just like every other aspect of our community, lifestyle and economy, school districts are finding hard lessons in the more than two-month coronavirus pandemic. As the region has been in lockdown, jobs have been lost and the cash flow — unproblematic in recent economies — have hit rock bottom.

Last week, Fredonia schools was considering a tax levy increase of 3.4%. Board members are trying to reduce it further — maybe to 1.5 or 2%. One board member, Steven Johnston, said district residents need to step up in a crisis.

“In order to preserve what we have, we have to ask for a little from the community,” he said.

That is problematic. Many Americans, unfortunately, live paycheck to paycheck. No one saw this horrific period coming one year ago today.

But this points to a larger government — and school district — problem. When the economy is humming, taxpayer-funded entities get fat. They see big revenues from sales tax and big bonuses from Wall Street.

They spend seemingly without caution — and lose sight of conservative policies that help when times get tough. We’re in that predicament today.

Most of the community is suffering. Asking them to pay more, due to careless pasts, is far from fair.

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