I understand the frustration of Dr. Darcy Benway, superintendent of District 203, with state legislators when it comes to school funding. I respect her opinion on the “Veterans Property Tax Relief” law, but I think there needs to be a more clear understanding of this act.
The use of $2,500 and $5,000 figures in her article implies that veterans who are disabled have their taxes reduced by that amount. This is not true. For example, the difference on a $210,000 home with and without a $2,500 veteran exemption for District 203 is only about $56.
This difference, multiplied by number disabled veterans in O’Fallon/Shiloh area, is nothing to ignore, but I don’t think it worth making a case not to help these veterans.
It is true that if you are 70 percent disabled or more, then you pay no taxes. I know this seems like huge benefit, but such veterans will be living with constant pain for the rest of their lives for protecting America.
There are other ways we can help the district fight the inability of the state to honor its commitments to our school districts.
The true waste and abuse in our school districts is the bloated administration. Look at St. Clair County. We have 27 school districts with 100 schools. That means we have 27 superintendents with 100 principals, and Lord knows how many assistant principals, and then add in all the administrative staffs. Why?! If we consolidate districts, how much could we save?