Letter: School boards’ demand for additional K-12 funding is self-serving, should be given to parents instead | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: School boards’ demand for additional K-12 funding is self-serving, should be given to parents instead

If one needed more convincing that public school district officials live in a bubble of their own making, look no further than the opinion letter in the Steamboat Pilot from Steamboat Springs Board of Education members. In it, they demand “the legislature to repay, fully fund public education.” Sounds good?

First, there is nothing to “repay.” What does “fully fund” even mean? The Steamboat Springs School District avoids a public debate about reducing costs but continuously emphasizes “doing more” while a positive impact to students’ success seems not a high priority. Staying true to form, we get no information what benefits students could expect from $28.8 million of additional funding. SSSD seems a chaotic place that only knows one remedy: more of your family’s hard-earned money.

Most certainly, additional funding would further burden us taxpayers at the same time inflation is running at a 40-year high and wages are decreasing 5%. And finally, we should not forget that the same people saddled Steamboat taxpayers already with a $135 million liability in 2019 via ballot measures 4A/B/C. Then they claimed they would need this absurd amount of money to accommodate an influx of new students. As this is not materializing, last week the school announced it may look to offer infant care on school grounds, which is not the task of a K-12 school system.

Instead, consider calling your legislator and ask to give some K-12 education funding directly to parents and students. Our government has been supporting needs by paying us citizens directly for decades. Examples are Pell grants, food stamps and funding people’s pre-k and higher education needs by direct payment. The state should allow this for K-12 finally as well. Then, we could ensure to fund people and projects that us parents deem useful, not just school administrators. We could fund teachers directly for a job well done and projects we would like to pursue together. Many teachers would welcome such a direct beneficial relationship to students and parents that would free them from administrative hamstringing. It would drive innovation so sorely needed in the K-12 system. This is not my idea. It has been discussed for years. The 5-min video “Fund the Children, Not the schools” at PragerU.com gives a good explanation.

Juergen Kuhmann

Steamboat Springs

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