Third in a series of posts debunking GOP attacks on our school board.
Fake talking point #3: “The current Board just keeps raising taxes!”
- Taxes have risen for many years consecutively. For most of those years, the Board was dominated by Republican Directors.
- Costs and taxes are driven up by increasing enrollment. Enrollment has been increasing every year except for 2020. This has been reported to the public every year by an independent demographer at the October Education committee meetings.
- The district has added 1000 students since 2006. At an average cost per year of $20,000 per student, this has increased yearly costs by $20M.
- 85% of the District’s revenue has to come from its local tax base.
- State funding has remained flat for transportation and special education, whereas costs in these two areas have risen dramatically. For example, special education costs have risen by $15M and pension costs by $10M, not covered by the state.
- The Republican-led School Board cut programs and staffing by $9M and STILL increased taxes that year.
- Families continue to move into the District, driving up local property values, because they view the current tax structure as fair given the quality of TE schools.
Recently an email went out to many school parents from a group called Neighbors United, a fictitious group that appears to be a front for the Tredyffrin Republican Committee and the “Conservative Women of the Main Line.” (The email listed as a return address Rosanna Hagg, Vice Chair of the Tredyffrin Township Republicans, though Ms. Hagg later denied any association with Neighbors United. She also threatened the TTDems with legal action for simply reporting what any reader of the email could observe for themselves.)
Conservative Women of the Main Line is a hard-right group that has been extending invitations to speakers like Doug Mastriano, who attended the Jan 6 insurrection and lobbied Congress to throw out Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential vote, and Scott Presler, a prominent anti-Muslim activist. Republican candidates and TTGOP leadership have spoken approvingly of CWML and gone so far as to be photographed selfie-style with Presler. (UPDATE: when this telling photo drew unwanted attention, the TT GOP immediately deleted it from its former perch on their Facebook feed.)
The email directed readers to a series of talking points filled with misinformation about TE School District affairs.
People who read these fake talking points should know where they originate from. We’ll address these false claims in a series of posts. This is the third.