Shame on the residents of Fishers for voting to spend more money on education, complicating things for everbody else in the state. So says the Richmond Palladium-Item:
Officials in Fishers say the referendum approval will spare them having to cut at least 60 teachers in the faces of property tax caps and a worsening economy's slowdown of tax revenues.
But the action could trigger something bigger that Indiana will want to monitor closely for the inequalities and challenges it poses.
Indiana state government is assuming full operational funding for local school operations in large part to relieve local reliance on the uneven property tax. That in turn would relieve the state, or so it hopes, of legal challenges like those launched elsewhere across the nation challenging the alleged inequalities in education based upon inequality of tax effort and resources and per-pupil spending.
The state's proper role in "equalizing" education funding, it seems to me, is to set a reasonable per-pupil expenditure, one that most people would agree is the amount required to carry out the education mission. Then the state makes up the difference for the districts that can't reach that amount on their own. If a district wants to spend more than that and can afford it, it's nobody else's business.