Taxpayers want to get the most bang for their buck, but that's not happening in the federal jobs training program run by St. Clair County.
The metro-east is blessed with excellent, reasonably priced public colleges and vocational programs, and yet in 2011 St. Clair County spent more than $1.1 million, or 53 percent of its training funds, on pricey private schools. No offense to the private schools, but the taxpayers shouldn't be expected to pay private tuition rates when there's a less expensive public school alternative.
Madison County does a fine job of steering its students to public schools. Just 10 percent of its training money went to private tuition. St. Clair County needs that same sort of balance.
Spending less on private schools would save taxpayers money, but more importantly ensure that the people who need training get it.
People are being left behind in St. Clair County; there are 135 people on a waiting list for training. If public schools were better used, that number could easily be zero.