As you know, my 3 kids are all enrolled in local public schools-- the older 2 in the middle school, the younger in elementary. And I've seen some things this year that have me rethinking my automatic voting in favor of the school budget: Staffing: Kira has had 2 BAD teachers, and 2 delightful teachers. I've had no other issues with my kids' teachers. Kira also receives special services: speech, reading, and she works with the audiologist. But she's in a class of 29.(No class in our district can contain fewer than 16 kids.) Our district, like so many, is incredibly top heavy. There are layers and layers and layers of administrators, yet large class sizes. Of course, staffing is not part of the budget. And as parents, we have no say in who gets tenure. So the only way I can voice my displeasure here is with my vote. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of tax money being spent on staffing. Technology: I keep reading of the wonders of smartboards. And just about every classroom in the district has one. My son, who is in 8th grade, has the use for the year of a graphing calculator. We had to sign a disclaimer saying we would fork over the $100 or so if it was damaged. He's in EIGHTH grade, taking algebra. He doesn't need a calculator at all, much less a $100 one. But he has one. So does every other 8th grader. So do, I presume, every one of the students in the high school. (Not sure of their enrollment, but there are 7 feeder elementary schools.) LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of tax money being spent on technology. Enrichment: This is the one that sent me over the edge. Peter and I really want Brian to get involved in something. So we directed him: join something by today or we're signing you up. I called his guidance counselor earlier in the week, to see if she could nudge him towards any direction at all. And I found out that, with the exception of some sports, yearbook, and the play, all extra curricular activities in the middle school are gone. (Keep in mind, we PASSED the budget.) So..... what are my tax dollars buying me? What do I lose if they don't pass the budget? Well, they'll probably drop activites from the high school. But if my kids don't develop the interest before that point, it's unlikely to matter. They'll drop the late busses. Again, no big deal. What do I have to lose by voting against the budget?