Carney’s Budget Reset Will Put The Hurt On School Districts, Charters And Citizens Of Delaware

Delaware Governor John Carney released his FY2018 Budget “Reset”.  He is calling for a ton of cuts across Delaware programs as well as increase revenue by increasing taxes.  The extremely wealthy won’t get the tax increases many have been calling for in this proposed budget.  But property owners will feel it.  Here comes the Delaware sink hole!

In education, the match tax will switch over to the local side, to be raised by school boards without a referendum.  Which is all well and good if you don’t own property.  But if you do, expect to pay more in school taxes.  As well, $15 million will be cut from district and charter operation budgets doled out by the state.  I don’t see the funding for basic special education for students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade but I see $4.7 million more for early childhood education.  We poured $18 million into that last year.  I don’t see any proposed cuts to the Department of Education even though Carney ran around during his campaign saying he was going to streamline the Department.  Carney is allowing for $25.1 million for new teachers and $1 million for his “opportunity grants”.  $22 million would be cut from the education sustainment fund (thus the district boards getting to get more school taxes without a referendum like they do with the tuition tax).

In the below document, we see absolutely nothing about marijuana revenue or an increase to the gax tax.  But smokers will be gouged another buck a pack.  The retirement age for additional personal credit will rise from 60 to 65 while all senior citizens will see their Senior Citizen Property Credit reduced by a hundred dollars.

I get that you have to make up for a $385 million dollar deficit by making cuts but it is important to know how we got there.  Former Governor Jack Markell came on board as the Great Recession of 2008 spread its wings.  After that, Markell just spent and spent and spent without really getting enough revenue to stick around in the state.  Our population grew as special education services grew at a much higher rate.  Something disability communities have been saying will happen for years.   I am not a big fan of this budget proposal.  Carney, like his predecessor, refuses to make the rich pay more.  I don’t see a lot of “shared sacrifice” going on here.  If it was truly shared, it would hurt everyone.  To someone making a million bucks a year, a nominal increase in taxes isn’t going to hurt them as much as it will to a family living off $30,000 a year.  Granted, this is assuming the General Assembly approves this and the budget deficit stays the same.  It could (and I predict it will) increase between now and June 30th.

I don’t envy Carney.  He inherited most of this from Markell.  But with all his “coffee klatches” as the folks over at Delaware Liberal call them, I would have expected something a lot more different than what Markell gave us back in January.  I’ve told Carney’s people exactly what he needs to do in terms of education funding.  The response from them?  Crickets.  They hear me out and then nothing.  Just because I haven’t written as much about district and charter funding shenanigans doesn’t mean it hasn’t been foremost in my mind.  I was counting on the new administration to do the right thing here.  Looks like I’m going to have to do this the hard way and start REALLY ticking people off.

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5 thoughts on “Carney’s Budget Reset Will Put The Hurt On School Districts, Charters And Citizens Of Delaware

  1. OK Kevin – I know this isn’t winning budget for education but there are some shared responsibilities here. To say that only property owners take the hit is a misnomer as property owners inevitably pass the increase on to renters. The personal income tax deductions being eliminated would hurt those in higher brackets and the increase in the standard deduction would help those in the lower brackets and give the seniors back some money they are losing in the reduction in ed tax. The education thing is a big challenge and I am getting the impression that everything is still on the table but just not for this year (June 30th). Between DOE and the 19 Districts plus charters, streamlining and deciding what sections are essential is a behemoth of an undertaking. I vote for you going after being on a committee that will help do all of that – we need you there! Also – don’t rule out the increase to the industries located here in DE coughing up more moola. They are making significant increases there that should help the state where these industries have been robbing us blind. OK – that’s my 2 cents and yes, please remember that Carney didn’t create this horrible mess – he is just the guy that has to clean it up.

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    1. To Jenn C,
      To say that property owners taking the hit is a misnomer as property owners inevitably pass the increase on to renters. Well, not ALL property owners rent their property and have to endure continuous increases. Also, those that do rent have to keep rent within a price range for people to afford. The state needs to learn additional ways to increase state revenue, such as, cutting out grants, stop entitlements, REDUCE DOE, 280+ employees just at DOE with many positions over lapped, cut positions at most state agencies, again overlap. Cutting back across all state agencies would help a lot. No different, if I cannot afford to live on my pay, I have to cut things out, turn services off (ie: cell phone, cable, no eating out, etc,). All state GOV has the mind set that GOV does not have to live within their means. Cut backs and reductions are a temporary inconvenience until the state budget is balanced, however, NO ONE in GOV or those that get money from the GOV is willing to be inconvenienced even for a couple yrs for the betterment of our state as a whole. Once people, agencies, groups, business, etc get GOV money, they expect it to continue instead of being grateful for the help they got from GOV, they should expect it to be cut. I’m tired of the state taxing (penalizing) me because I own property. Everyone over the age of 18 in the state should contribute to help reduce the state budget no just property owners. People in state GOV may be smart with degrees, however, seems like most don’t have plain good common sense and don’t think they really have the good of the state in mind, just what can they themselves get out of it. And that’s my 2 cents

      Liked by 1 person

    1. $82,351,471 –2015/2016
      $37,370,745–2006/2007
      $44,980,726–Increase

      Above shows increase state revenue provided DOE for period shown, yet Governor does not recommend any reductions. Why?

      Liked by 1 person

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