Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stimulate This!

Okay. What's the dumbest thing you can do with one-time money? If you answered, "Spend it on personnel," you get an A+. If you get a windfall in 2009 and use it toward three new positions, what happens in 2011 when that money dries up? Either you add substantially to your outflow of cash (and your local share of taxes, if you're a school district), or you fire those new people.

That is what school districts nationwide face now that the stimulus package has been determined to involve "job creation." Chuck Schumer is all over the planet crowing about how districts can avoid layoffs thanks to the generosity of the United States Congress.

So what everyone will have to do is to get creative--move money around, use the stimulus money to patch the roof and the roof money to hire (or more likely retain) a handful of teachers or aides. It's a shell game, and not a very intelligent one. It fails entirely to address the fact that some of the mess we're in comes from being overstaffed in lean times with falling populations.


Anonymous said...

Fire them all, then hire them back with new titles. Instant job creation while simultaneously showing fiscal toughness. "We cut costs by reducing our staff by 35%," (like 15 of your 43 teachers) "and then we used the stimulus package to create 15 new jobs that provide critical services to our schools and children." (Like, say, teachers.)
I face this kind of idiocy all the time. Welcome to government funding.

KAZ said...

Sadly, tenure and SED regs don't allow it, or we'd be glad to do so.