The March to Metro Consolidation

I thought that we had disposed of this discussion during the referendum a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I can finally see what the end result of this MCS charter surrender will be. Over the past several weeks, the TPC has been delivering its educational recommendations to our board in pieces for review. As the price tag is attached to the educational priorities, we have found just to start that the TPC began some 200 million dollars in the hole. Through various cost-cutting measure like privatizing busses and custodial and other “efficiency measures”, they have cut the deficit to around 90 million.

Today, they submitted their “bloody” cuts like increasing student to teacher ratios and billing charter schools and other legislative changes.

They may be relatively polyannish in there cuts since many of these cuts directly impact MCS unions. These unions elect many of the MCS board members. Due to the fact that the TPC is comprised of many private industry executives, you can’t just cut without political implications. While I support all of the cuts and efforts to balance the budget and not increase taxes, most of my compadres on the board, do not. With that said, I foresee a budget shortfall of 150 million dollars, much directly attributed to merger efforts.

Looming on the horizon is the county commission and its funding issues. Interestingly enough, it takes a simple majority to approve of the SCS budget but a 2/3 vote to set the tax rate setting up a funding battle. So how do we close such a large budget gap with a locked county commission?  What services will the county cut? The answer will be: Metro Consolidation

Proponents of city-county consolidation will push a plan that will balance the budget with the new school system based upon savings by merging city and county government prompting another referendum. This time a merged school district plus the threat of skyrocketing taxes in the county and the creation on muni districts will have a direct impact on countywide dual referendum.

So the question is? Are muni districts an acceptable trade-off for increased leverage to accomplish metro consolidation? I would say that merger proponents would say so..


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