Letters to the Editor

How we fund our schools

In the early 1970s, the East St. Louis Police raided a bingo game at a Roman Catholic Church. The pastor of that church defended the bingo players, but the police told him the game of chance in which players pay for bingo cards was not legal.

I advised that pastor by a newsletter that the only way those folks could play legally was to get the law changed. After those who wanted to gamble agreed to give 70 percent of the profits of a state Lottery to the public school system, it became law on July 1, 1974.

It has been difficult keeping all that Lotto money going into the Common School Fund. Politicians who favor private schools may have decided to divert those funds to other programs. The truth is, they did divert those funds.

Teachers voted to join collective bargaining to gain more job security. Teachers should not have the power to strike for benefits that a particular district cannot afford.

School board members are elected local citizens who care for their district. They cannot allow expenses beyond the district’s income budget. There is a limit to what property taxpayers can pay.

Maybe teachers would be able to reach more students via electronic tablets. Students could attend a school building one or two days a week. It may be worth a try.

Some retired people are paying more than $450 a month in taxes to live in the home they own.

Bond issues are not the answer for financing schools.

Cal Fink