When I was a kid, I got pretty good at reading my dad and asking him for a lot more money than I really wanted, knowing I'd get the amount I'd decided on and he'd feel good about having taught me the virtues of frugal restraint. I suppose many kids do that. When I'm in a cynical mood, I ask, "How do you get $100 million out of taxpayers to fix up school buildings?" Scare them with a $500 million request first:
As of the 4:30 p.m. deadline today, the “blue” group, which opposes the project, turned in 1,692 petitions with 33,445 unverified signatures, according to unofficial results from Tera Klutz, deputy auditor for the Allen County Auditor's Office.
The “yellow” group favoring the project submitted 832 petitions with 10,470 unverified signatures.
If we assume invalid signatures will be found at about the same rate on both sides, it seems safe to say that the building project is over, and the major question is what will happen next. Evert Mol, leader of the Blue Squad, says it would be OK with him if FWCS waits the required year, then comes back with a "reasonable" amount for truly necessary repairs, which he puts at $100 million. When I'm not in a cynical mood, that sounds reasonable to me, too, especially if a healthy yearly capital projects fund can be re-established.
Millions of dollars a year have been diverted from that fund to pay for racially balancing FWCS schools, not to mention hard-to-calculate attendant transportation costs for busing. Since the Supreme Court has just ruled that such race-conscious behavior violates the spirit of equal treatment for all, and since no one has been able to demonstrate any substantive educationial value, I know where I would to get the money. That's what seems reasonable to me, but I doubt the school system will see it that way.