Where New Hampshire Democrats Pretend to Give A Crap About Local Control

NH State Sen. David Watters
NH State Sen. David ‘Rising’ Watters

The last time I checked Democrats, most of them at least, viewed School Budget Committees as a barrier to “education.” Their needless nit-picking in defense of taxpayers, unless the board members happen to be outright shills to traditionally progressive School Boards, get in the way of “our children’s needs™.”

So imagine “my surprise” when David ‘Rising‘ Watters is quoted in a piece at NH Watchdog in which he says (about an amendment to SB342), “So what this bill would say is that is if that kind of thing happened, we essentially are contravening or stripping away the authority of the budget committee in a town to have made that kind of adjustment.”

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Watters and his cohorts on the left are concerned about a proposed change to a bill, that seeks to make sure that staff departures are reflected in school district’s latest budgets.

State Sen. Gary Daniels, R-Milford, introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 342 to address a problem he saw with that system. …

“Let’s say that you had three employees with $150,000 worth of salary [leave their jobs],” Daniels said. “Currently, you’re not allowed to take that $150,000 worth of salary out of the default budget because the statute says that it’s last year’s budget.”

If you are even vaguely familiar with how local school budgets work the goal of the left and the teacher’s unions are to plow money into them (to quote the Orbit gum girl) “no matter what!” So the idea that staff departures should in any way reduce the cost of an education is anathema to progressives. Suggesting adjustments of any kind that do not inevitably grow a school district budget are absurd (and probably racist) even in a state where 94% of the students are white.

Equally absurd is the notion that progressives support local control. The last thing they want is locals making policy decisions about how to spend or save their own money. So, the only time you will ever (EVER!) hear a Democrat go on about such things is if it provides them opportunities to wedge policy issues into places that will inevitably get them centralized control at the state or federal level.

Transgender bathroom policies in local school districts in towns. The recent failed attempt by towns like Hanover to impose gun bans on public school campuses in violation of state law.

Ideally, they find a way to get some imagined injustice before a liberal judge who then creates the law they couldn’t get from the legislature. But strong-arming progressive tendencies out of weak-kneed un-principled office-holders is just as good. Having one or three examples of wrongs “righted” at the “local level” are thin sauce for a very lame goose but it works.

Ultimately the power rises to the state Capital, and then Washington DC from whence all monies and attached strings should emanate so that any fear of meddling by activists, budget committees, or (those pesky intemperate) voters can be prevented. The juicy bits in budgets walled off from knuckle-dragging fly-over country types by armies of bureaucrats bearing impenetrable procedures written so that only a well-heeled lobbying frim full of Harvard Grads (you can’t afford) can make heads or tails out of it.

Even when we’re talking about a bill meant to clear up confusion between a new budget and the default budget. Everyone agrees in the use of the word transparency as long as no one messes with the perennial ascension of spending by your local equivalent of the deep state. A circumstance Democrats are diligently trying to emancipate from locals as quickly as possible to protect their well-fed public union political machines.

Any use of the language by elected Democrats that hints at devotion to local control are a smokescreen. Nothing in the progressive political expert can survive in that environment because taxpayers have an unpleasant tendency to grow attached to the taste of the fruits of their labors. If left to their own impulses they will gather together to reject the sour taste of second-hand bread offered by the state and the long line, littered with hoops and mines, that the statists lay out for them to navigate for but a portion of what was taken from them in the first place.

If they have to play at protecting local control, even for just a little while, to later rip it forever from your hands, they will do it.