I am writing in response to Mark Keller's letter of May 27, in which he criticized the constant increase in school budgets, among other things.
I agree with Mr. Keller that schools should increase teacher's salaries while lowering their budgets, and I know they can do it.
Mr. Keller was correct in discussing cutting back on nonteaching personal, specifically administrators. In the last 30 years we have seen an exponential growth in management (in the private sector as well as the public), but no increase in the number of teachers. This must be reversed.
But there are two other huge budget issues that have come about in the last 30 years. One is the cost of information systems. Every public entity pays millions of dollars, on a regular basis, to software companies. Partly because of the Bill Gates business model, in which companies stop supporting the products you sell every 18-24 months, and make everyone buy it all over again. Instead, schools should hire a tech person to create and maintain their own information systems. Millions would be saved every year.
The third huge change is health care. with insurance companies raising rates every year, and paying the average CEO $14.5 million a year (from an Associated Press article in the Gazette-Times). Next year Oregonians will have a chance to vote on a universal health care plan that, if passed, will save every school, city, county, and the state, millions of dollar per year.
Three simple changes that would create fairer budgeting.
Philomath (May 28)