The news that 27 teachers from the Lockport City School District are retiring at the end of the current school year must have come as welcome news to those in the community that support smaller government. After all, what a tremendous opportunity to trim a significant dollar amount from the budget.
In addition, the tax savings would be sizable. After all, we have read incessantly about the Tax Foundation's findings that Niagara County is the highest taxed county in the country. And since my school taxes make up about 60% of my total tax bill, it only makes sense that a reduction in staffing in the district would lead to a lower school property tax bill.
Unfortunately, the district has no plans to eliminate any of the soon-to-be-vacant positions. Twenty-five newly hired teachers are already in place, and the district plans to hire two more special education teachers.
Where is the billboard for this? Where are the public speakers? Where are letters to the editors? Nowhere to be found on all counts.
Why is this? Where is Edwina Luscks, the champion of smaller government (choke)? I'm going to take a shot in the dark as to why the "three minute crowd" will sit silent on this one: No cameras.
The Niagara County Legislature is an easy target. The meetings are televised, therefore the public comment session is televised. LCTV devotes four hours every Thursday night to legislative matters, WLVL talks about politics. It gives the publicity-starved three-minute crowd the opportunity to get their names out there.
School board meetings? Boring stuff. No one talks about school boards and the fact that their budgets are disgustingly bloated. It's not sexy.
But at least we know the six or seven people in the community who were ignored as children and are oh so desperately looking for the attention they never received as kids.