SB193: Education Savings Accounts Vs. Property Taxes

Education spending piggy bank shutterstock_2803878-600x385Senate Bill 193 allows parents to set up and use education savings accounts (ESA’s). The public-union-only education industrial complex turns into the worlds mightiest chicken-little whenever anyone or anything challenges their monopoly on your children’s time and attention.

Think gangland turf war complete with a multimedia entertainment monopoly on fake news and disinformation to scaremonger parents, teachers, staff, and taxpayers into prohibiting infringement on what amounts to property rights over the hearts and minds of future generations.

It’s serious stuff and Unions see it as an assault on their power. They don’t say that, and maybe they can’t so they need to find other reasons. Like a biblical exodus of students, massive cost increases, ESA’s only help the rich, crop failures, dogs and cat’s living together, and maybe even erectile dysfunction.

The latest debunking-arrow drawn from the quiver of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy address the suggestion that ESA’s will drive up property taxes.

School choice opponents always claim that losing a student won’t save a school money because the remaining students must continue to be taught, so the school can’t fire the teacher. These data show that the spending increases of recent decades have been concentrated in non-teaching positions and have far outpaced student enrollment growth. As such, schools have options for finding savings that need not include cutting teachers.

According to their research from 1992-2014, most of the spending increases in the public school system came overwhelmingly in non-teaching positions.

The study also calculates that of the $16,205 in per-pupil revenue New Hampshire public schools received in 2015, $11,716 (or 72.2 percent of total per pupil expenditures) can be classified as variable rather than fixed costs.

In other words, there is a ton of waste on non-essential personnel. What Skip Murphy likes to call Administrative overhead. Dollars spent on activity that has nothing to do with teaching children.

Public Schools are top heavy. If any real fiscal impact resulted School Boards and Superintendents would do well to look at staff for opportunities.

“The claim that Education Savings Accounts will cause property tax increases is just not borne out by the data,” Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy President Andrew Cline said. “With an 89 percent increase in non-teaching staff from 1992-2015 and a 56 percent overall increase in spending, there are opportunities to find savings on the non-teaching side of the ledger should schools lose some revenue from families choosing Education Savings Accounts.”

I should add that the single most significant driver of higher property taxes in my twenty-plus years as a property owner in New Hampshire is the public school, despite declining enrollment.

The SAU doesn’t know anything different. And neither do most parents. But ESA’s will give them the opportunity to make other choices which may, in turn, teach everyone some new tricks. Or perhaps they’ll just ask the question, why? Why has declining enrollment resulted in an astronomical increase taking my money?

Why are we spending so much on non-productive activity?

Competition is what drives productivity and prices. The Government Schools will never try to operate effieciently unless they are forced to do that.

ESA’s provide pressure to improve as well as more options for students and parents that enhance education outcomes.

You can read more at Josiah Bartlett. And I highly recommend This page at School Choice for NH to anyone who needs a resource or wants to get caught up on SB193 and the Education Saving’s Account debate, whether in New Hampshire or anywhere.