In my opinion, very little the city or school district (or any other responsible government unit) does actually leads to cost savings. The business adage that you have to spend money to make money doesn’t apply to operating a government entity. Spending is how government agencies keep score. The more an agency spends, the more successful it is. And if the results of the spending don’t live up to expectations, the solution is ... to increase spending. Think MNLARS.

They pile up huge debts, then pat themselves on the back for saving money by refinancing that debt.

They say things will cost more in the future, ignoring the fact that, hopefully, there will be more taxpayers to share the burden.

The money being spent isn’t coming from only their pockets, but from all of us taxpayers, not all of whom are making over $50,000.00 per year.

According to Matt Helgerson, District 717 Superintendent of Schools (whom I thank), since 2009 until now, the district’s total enrollment has increased from 1644 to 1879  — that’s a bit over a 14% increase.

In that same period the cost per student per year has gone from $8,731.01 to $12,168.28 — that’s a bit over a 39% increase.

The total budget in 2009 was $14,350,775. 

The total budget in 2019 is $22,864,185 (about a 60% increase from 2009).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today's prices are 19.59% higher than in 2009. 

To make a long story short, it looks to me like the school district’s spending outstrips growth and inflation.

The Jordan Independent is providing readers with a wealth of information about the coming referendum. I won’t tell you how to vote, but you need to be aware that virtually all of that information is being provided by the school district. Hopefully, someone will ask if the school district’s results (graduation rate, test score rankings, or whatever metric) actually match the increase in spending. Are we getting 39% more of anything than we were in 2009?

The Quote: "Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like." -Will Rogers

Thom Boncher is a retired marketing communications manager, former Jordan City Council member, and Jordan resident since Valentine’s Day, 2003.

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