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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stimulus: Invest in Teachers, Tunnels...

Small stimulus note: If I'm reading the September Expenditure report correctly, the Madison Central School District has about $269,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars waiting to be pumped into the local Lake County economy in the form of salaries for regular employees, tutors, and aides. $269K is a lot of groceries at JubiShine....

Bigger stimulus note: like our Governor Rounds, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie seems determined to sabotage the federal stimulus, not to mention make the daily commute for thousands of his constituents much worse. Governor Christie has canceled a new tunnel project from New Jersey to New York City. New infrastructure is exactly the kind of investment America needs right now. Building new tunnels and rail lines and other infrastructure creates jobs now and lays the foundation for long-term economic growth. But Tea Party thinking calls that investment taxes and socialism and takes America back... to economic decline.


  1. 66 counties. Would reducing that number free any money for school districts, Cory?

  2. Maybe. But in pure fiscal terms, county consolidation (like that floated in the SD legislature in 2009) might not save as much as school consolidation. We have 155 school districts: imagine the dollars saved by consolidating just administration of those districts within counties. Eliminate 70 or so superintendents, $60K to $80K a pop... you might find $5M right there.

    ...but, per the argument in this post, that's also $5M in payroll that doesn't go into local economies... unless we plow that money right back into the system, raise teacher pay, and hire more instructional staff.

  3. Never count on consolidation to save money: SD consolidated the court system to go from 8 to 7 - to save money. BUT they changed all the Court Administrators from around 30K to 60K+, and hired them all secretaries. (This was called "professionalizing", even though it had worked pretty well before...) SD has a knack for increasing bureaucracy at every turn.


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