Last week I heard snippets of a radio interview with RUSD superintendent Dr. Shaw. I wasn't paying close attention to the interview but I do recall the repeated use of the word "reinvestment" as part of a pitch to pass the three upcoming referenda.
As a business owner, I know a bit about reinvestment. Most importantly, the word implies that you got a return on a previous investment such that there is something there to reinvest. Certainly this is not the case with Racine Unified. Obviously there is no money to reinvest, hence the need to pass the referenda. Re the educational return, again, the previous investments have not yielded results.
In my business as in all others small enough to fail, a series of bad investments would result in unpleasant consequences ending in the most unpleasant, bankruptcy.
As we consider RUSD's request for more money, we should ask ourselves whether we are indeed "reinvesting" or whether we are funding an operation that is making repeated bad "investments" that will ultimately bankrupt the "investors", ie, the Racine area.
Now suppose you agree to some extent that RUSD is a failure. Still, you wonder, what good will it do if we don't fund RUSD? Won't it be even worse than it is now? This is indeed the dilemma for the vast majority of people in Racine. They want a good school system, and they wouldn't mind paying for a good one, but they realize RUSD ain't it.
I have over the years grappled with exactly these questions. I have concluded that RUSD is simply unable to reform itself. It exists for the adults and their retirements and their health care. Real reform in education will not come from our public education "leaders." It will come from the public. It will come when we recognize that the lack of resources is not the problem at RUSD. It will come when we recognize that a government monopoly is not the way to provide critical services. It will come when RUSD no longer has a stranglehold on the education market in the Racine area.
Don't fund a losing operation that leads only to financial and educational bankruptcy. Ask instead for something better, like a school voucher system that will allow kids to attend private schools. Vote no on the latest series of school referenda.