How the parties worked the law and got their mojo back
Are the parties being starved to death?
Loyalists on both sides of the aisle have said so, citing a series of legislative moves and court decisions in recent years that took away the parties’ ability to raise unlimited “soft money” and allowed other groups to do so instead. The shrinking presence of the parties, which by necessity must occupy a middle ground, brings more negative, polarizing politics, they warn. Their solution: allow parties to reel in larger contributions so they can compete with outside spending groups.
Congress quietly acted on this argument in late 2014 when it used a government funding bill to create new party accounts that can take in hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover certain broadly-defined expenses.
But the parties also have adapted to the new environment by creating ways for their wealthiest donors to give them more money as well as to capture some of the newly unregulated funding.
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|WI: Trying To Hide Charter Truth
Posted: 19 Feb 2016 06:47 AM PST
One of the great lies of the charter-choice movement is that you can run multiple school districts for the price of one.
A school district of, say, 2,000 students can lose 75 students and with them about $750,000 dollars of revenue, and somehow that district of 1,925 students can operate for three quarter of a million dollars less. And how does the district deal with that loss of revenue? By closing a building– because the more school buildings you operate, the more it costs.
The other common response of a school district to the loss of revenue to charters is to raise local taxes. If charters want to look at where some of their bad press is coming from, they might consider school boards like mine that regularly explain to the public, “Your local elementary is closing and your taxes are going up because we have to give money to the cyber charters.”
We can run examples a dozen different ways. What is cheaper in the aggregate– to house your ten person family in one house, or to house each family member is a separate building? Is it cheaper and more efficient to educate 2,000 students in one district with one set of administrators and special areas teachers, or in five school districts with five sets of administrators and special area teachers?
The inefficient, multiple provider model of charter schools creates greater expense, and the difference can only be made up one of two ways– either taxpayers must fork over more money for education, or schools must cut services. If you are going to add charter-choice schools to a system, those are the only two options.
States have tried to fudge their way around with various systems of reimbursements to school districts for the students they lose to choice-charter. IOW, when that district loses the $750K, some states help make up the shortfall, either partially or completely. This is solidly in the Taxpayers Must Pay More category, but by funneling the money through the state, taxpayers might be kept unaware that they are paying more tax dollars so that a handful of students can go to a private school at public expense.
Which brings us to the morning news from Wisconsin.