Friday, August 18, 2006

Leveraging Resources

This past week, the Board met and approved the paperwork that will fund and continue the process of rehabilitating the Reynolds School on Depot Rd in Storrs for some alternative education programs that we believe will help the district educate and graduate a higher percentage of our eligible population.

Now, some of the cost of the work on this school will be assumed by the State based on applicable formulations. One of the questions I had about this evoked an interesting response.

Anyone paying attention to our national deficit, the tax burden on state residents, and the need for additional infrastructure might ask the same question I asked. That is, given the potential to leverage this new school for other civic activity, is there money available from Homeland Security, Civil Defense, or elsewhere to supplement the state's education construction money?

After all, in the wake of Katrina, hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and so on, these civic buildings could be hardened to include state of the art communications systems that students would benefit from exercising during school time and police, fire, and others could use for command and control in emergencies.

I mean, isn't this a nice way to leverage tax dollars efficiently? No such luck. The State would reduce the education reimbursements should other funds be located.

In other words, the local communities who might want to be pro-active on homeland security, emergency preparedness and so on need to fund it out of their own pockets OR secure funding as a separate [cost-sharing] project.

It's basically against the law to save taxpayers money by attempting to leverage infrastructure.

Anybody else want to scream?

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