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Fear the State Day 2 – The End of Metro Government

For those of you who thought yesterday’s post was alarmist, please take note.  Yesterday Representative Joe Carr of Lascassas passed a Bill out of subcommittee which effectively ends Metro Government.  Fifty years after our community came together and adopted legislation that, in the opinion of most, brought unprecedented prosperity to Middle Tennessee, Rep. Carr seeks to end Metro.  Shameful.  Hey, Rep. Carr of Rutherford County why don’t you mind your own business?


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Fear the State

There is at least one reason that Nashville’s charter school advocates should fear State authorization of charter schools – this Senator has no fear of regulating schools.

Why is it OK for the State to authorize charter schools and wrong for the State to dictate how teachers interact with students?  Do Nashville’s charter advocates have a good answer to that question?

Or maybe Nashville’s charter educators will be happy to include this topic in their curriculum:

“Students shall be informed of the nature of America which makes it an exception differentiated by its behavior, influence and contributions from the other nations of the world; and to show students why it is a positive difference, that has led the world to improvements in science, agriculture, economics, education, justice, human rights, the standard of living, and liberty not only within our borders, but across the world.”

Sounds borderline totalitarian to me.

Are Nashville’s charter advocates winning a battle at the risk of losing a war?


Numbers to Think About

This morning, in what has become an annual ritual, the local media stirs the pot with talk of a tax increase for schools.

I thought it might be nice to see some context so I pulled Metro’s Certified Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) for the years ending June 30, 2003 and 2012 and the MNPS budget for 2012.  Perhaps by looking at a ten year period we could see how much school funding has changed.

Assuming my numbers below are correct, it looks like per student funding for kids attending MNPS schools  has gone down 3.29% since 2003.  The 13% increase in students and the significant increase in funds going to charter schools seem to have taken a toll.  I’m a lawyer not an accountant, so let me know if my numbers are off.

Perhaps the numbers change after the 2013 CAFR but these are the most up to date numbers today.

FY Students per CAFR Total Expended Per CAFR Per Student  Expenditure in Year of Appropriation $ per CAFR before Charter Transfer Charter Transfers Per MNPS 2011-2012 Budget Net to MNPS Per Student  Expenditure in 2012 Dollars after Charter Transfer CPI as of July 2003 and July 2012 per BLS Change
2003 70028
$458,498,757
$6,547.36                    $0.00 $458,498,757.00 $8,156.75 183.9
2012 79212 $640,833,357 $8,090.10 $15,973,200.00 $624,860,157.00 $7,888.45 229.104 -3.29%

The House Democratic Caucus Is In the Game!

Yesterday, Rep. Sherry Jones and the House Democratic Caucus (The Only Democrats Left?) came out against the Republicans’ unconstitutional bill limiting a woman’s right to control her own body.

“Tennessee’s women should not have to suffer more intrusive laws that violate their right to privacy just so Sen. Tracy can polish his conservative credentials in his race against Congressman Scott DesJarlais,” said Rep. Sherry Jones (D-59). “Republicans have spent the past three years complaining about how the government shouldn’t stand between a patient and their doctor, but with this legislation, that is exactly what they are trying to do.”

We need more of this kind of fight.

Leaders of the Democratic Party — we’re ready for more — your wounds will be rewarded in two years — your timidity won’t be forgotten.


Silence of the Dems

Some issues Republicans are currently proposing at the State Capitol:

1)         Walking away from Federal money that would insure 145,500 poor Tennesseans that currently lack health insurance;

2)         Imposing a 24 hour waiting period and mandatory ultrasound on women seeking an abortion;

3)         Requiring teachers to report to the parents of students who express that they may be gay;

4)         Giving employees the right to carry firearms onto the premises of their employers even if the employers want a gun free work area;

5)         Eliminating the estate tax only felt by a miniscule number of Tennesseans even while we fund education at one of the lowest levels in the Nation;

6)         Creating a voucher system that would only complicate the funding problems faced by school districts while it would guarantee no better education for our children;

7)         Creating county militias; etc.

At the same time, here’s what Democrats are saying in response:

NOTHING.


Gary Bettman

Bettman


Predator Priorities

$6,100,000 – Estimated Nashville’s 2012-2013 general fund subsidy of the Nashville Predators.

$8.91 – 2012-2013 estimated subsidy on each ticket to a Nashville Predators game. ($6,1000,000 subsidy divided by last year’s reported attendance of 684,324)

$1,188.52 – Estimated sales of taxable goods necessary per ticket to recoup the Nashville Predators subsidy from the 1/3 of the local option sales tax that goes to the general fund.

$2,428,300 – Amount Metro Nashville Public Schools budgeted for its Gifted and Talented Program this year.

$.17 – Amount spent per enrolled student per day on the Gifted and Talented Program.  (79,000 students attending MNPS for 180 days of school a year.)

What if our commitment to the Gifted and Talented equaled our commitment to the Predators?

For now we have Predator priorities.