Don’t Make the Padded Levy Permanent
The LPOSD school board chair would have us believe that “If the current levy should become permanent, it would in no way lessen the financial accountability to the public. The outside auditing requirement, budgeting process, and financial transparency would remain the same as it is now.”
Not reassuring. Because all of the above currently leaves a lot to be desired.
If you’ve ever sat through the outside auditor’s report at a school board meeting, the stroking and joking among the board, administrators, and auditors resembles a love fest. All sides know where their bread is buttered, and LPOSD always passes the audit with flying colors.
When it comes to setting the supplemental levy amount, LPOSD uses an underhanded process that begins with levy budget meetings months before the Legislature meets to allocate school funding. This is by design. It allows LPOSD to claim the need to budget generously in case there is a funding shortage, and this year that meant inserting an extra $1.7 million as a “conservative” cushion. By the time the Legislature allocates its own generous school funding at the end of March, LPOSD’s padded levy will have passed. This has been going on for years.
You will not see this cushion, or any previous ones, returned to taxpayers in reduced levies. What you are seeing now, adding insult to injury, is a request to make the thoroughly padded levy permanent.
We would be fools to go for this sham. Vote No on November 5th.
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