From Lisbon, Maine, to Rockford, Ill., tea-party groups are arguing, sometimes successfully, against more property taxes, which in many communities largely go to public education. They say schools already spend too much on extras unrelated to core learning and that staffs are bloated, and they challenge the idea that smaller class size equals better instruction.The Wall Street Journal article features tea party activity in York, Pennsyvlanica and Jacksonville, Florida. But school officials are pushing back.
School districts say they are already cutting deeply and need more help from taxpayers. The York Suburban district gets just 13% of its revenue from state and federal funding; the rest comes from local property taxes, and state aid could decline further under budget cuts proposed by Pennsylvania's new Republican governor, Tom Corbett.
"It's like they are saying: Cut at any cost—we don't care about the service level and how it's affected," said Dennis Younkin, finance director for the York Suburban school district.