posted by Jason Sheppard at Sunday, November 27, 2005
[The following commentary was written by Linda Eckard, a teacher here in Northwest Arkansas].There is no one who values education more than I do. I want Arkansas to educate our children so they are able to compete in the job market and make responsible decisions as citizens of this state. However, as an educator myself, I speak out of sincere concern for what is truly the right vote in the upcoming Education Bond election.Concern #1: The money being borrowed for the bonds is not free for the taking. It will need to be paid back at some time. We are being told by certain public figures that a “yes” vote for the education bond will not increase taxes. But when the borrowed money must be repaid, THEN the tax increase will come. This is like using a credit card…you don’t pay at the time of the purchase, but you DO pay when the bill comes at a later time. Concern #2: Many of the projects being financed by the bond are not worth the incurred debt. Instant gratification has become a way of life now. As responsible adults, we must prioritize our needs and use the money available through current taxation for the most critical projects. A red flag goes up when you realize that those that profit the most—firms selling the bonds and politicians that receive large contributions from those companies—are the ones pushing the hardest.Concern #3: On a personal note, our local community college has not been responsive to the needs of its community. When an opening came up for a position at the college, the college was not open to requests in the community to hire a theist to provide more balance to the department that was well stocked already with atheists—some even militant in their beliefs.I know some well-qualified Doctors of Philosophy applied for this position, yet they were passed over for a man who lacked a doctorate of any kind and is a strong, out-spoken atheist. Several members of the community contacted the college administrators regarding the need for a more balanced faculty that would truly reflect this community. Public institutions must be responsible and sensitive to those they serve. I don’t think voting for this education bond is in our best interest as taxpaying citizens.Linda L. Eckard, Educator
I have hear that even the experts can't figure out whether the education bonds would allow the state to keep issuing new bonds without a new election.When in doubt, throw it out!
The presence of quality roads plays a key role in the state’s ability to attract industry and improve its economy. History has shown it is impossible to maintain a quality Interstate highway system using a pay-as-you-go method because it does not provide enough revenue. Using bonds to finance projects has proven to be an effective way of addressing highway construction needs by spreadingthe cost over time, similar to using a mortgage to purchase a house.
sounds like a talking point right off the fax machine. If we can't afford it now, then how can we afford "it" plus interest and bond fees later?Financing a house is fine because just building one room is useless unless the others are in place. With roads we can indeed do them a bit at a time- that was how Hammerschidt did 540!And anyway, you are changing the subject. The question is should THIS bond plan be approved.
The college bond issue is just as big a scam as the highway version. They say that $100 million will be used to pay off existing bonds, but the existing bonds are zero-coupon non-callable, so that is a lie. They say they'll use 412.5 million to put in a high speech internet, but Governor Huckabee has already funded part of that project with GIF funds. What they're asking us to do is give the egg-head academic administrators a blank check and $24 million a year in general revenue to pound down a rat hole. Let's vote NO.
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