Jim Parks, editor

June 19, 2017

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          When the General Assembly enacts the state budget next week it will, hopefully, ignore Governor Carney's recommendation that school districts be allowed to make up lost revenue by increasing property taxes without having to seek approval from the public at a tax referendum. It doesn't take a financial expert to realize that merely switches the pocket from which to take the money. Of course many taxpayers don't realize what they're paying because most have property taxes paid from an escrow fed by their monthly mortgage payments. More to the point, there is no reason in a share-the-burden budget for the public school establishment to be relieved of its obligation to contribute its proportionate share. The only consideration we'd accept is that districts be permitted to apply the reduction through a 'give-back' to the state treasury, thereby determining which programs will be directly affected.

          This situation clearly demonstrates the immediate need to reform the system by which public education in Delaware is financed. The governor should convene an appropriate panel to come up with a plan before the legislature returns next January.