October 26, 2009

School Board approves 8.3 percent tax levy increase; 'It's not as bad as we thought'

The Racine Unified School Board voted unanimously Monday night to increase property taxes about 8 percent.

The district's tax levy next school year will be $75.9 million, up from $70.1 million this school year. The district's property tax rate will increase 8.7 percent to $7.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This school year's tax rate was $7.22 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Taxes on the average Racine home, worth about $124,700, will increase about $79.

"It's not as bad as we first thought," said Dave Hazen, Unified's finance officer, who presented the budget to the School Board Monday night.

Reductions in state aid led to the increase in local property taxes. The state budget approved this year reduced aid to Racine Unified by about $900,000. Based on previous state budgets, which had never cut school aid, the district had anticipated about a $6.1 million increase.

The Legislature, facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, voted to cut school aids and pass the costs on to local taxpayers. Unified responded at first by estimating a 12 percent increase in its property tax rate next year. The School Board directed staff to maintain the district's revenue cap authority - meaning, basically, raise as much money as allowed under state law - but lower the amount of money the district needs to raise from property taxpayers.

Staff came back with a plan that saved $5 million and used another $1.5 million from the district's fund balance. The district also benefited from some aid dollars that were higher than anticipated and an unexpected increase in student enrollment.

Unified got a surprising vote of confidence earlier this year when the Racine Taxpayers Association, which usually opposes tax increases, supported a 12 percent property tax increase to keep Unified fully funded.

Despite the increase in the district's tax levy, Racine Unified's tax rate remains lower than neighboring school districts. Oak Creek/Franklin's tax rate is the next closest at $7.98 per $1,000 of assessed value. Kenosha Unified's rate is $8.81 per $1,000, Burlington's is $8.70 per $1,000 and Milwaukee's is $9.70 per $1,000.

Stimulus money, savings on refinancing Unified debt and transportation, and other savings allowed the School Board to reduce the tax increase by about 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Initial estimates back in June suggested the district would increase taxes to $8.09 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Stimulus money also allowed the school district to move forward with its "data warehouse," which will allow parents, teachers and administrators to track student performance. The district is also spending $3.4 million next year to expand Fratt Elementary School and another $3.9 million of school maintenance.

School Board Member Dennis Wiser thanked Hazen and Unified staff for their work on a "horribly convoluted" budget that included cuts in state aid and an influx of federal stimulus money.

"I feel very comfortable voting for this package tonight," Wiser said.

Next year's budget doesn't get any easier, Hazen told the School Board.

Rough estimates already show a $3 million to $4 million deficit, he said. The state has locked in a roughly 2 percent increase in revenue cap space for the district - $200 for students - but expenses may increase by double that, according to Hazen.

Board Member Don Nielsen piled on with worries about the "cliff" coming in two years when stimulus money disappears.

The district's overall budget, including state and federal aids, is about $267 million.

The district's biggest annual expense - 59 percent of its budget next year - is spent on instruction. Buses and utility costs covered about 14 percent of the budget, followed by 11 percent for instruction and pupil support. Administration made up 5 percent of the budget.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Dustin -

    Perhaps you are right. Forbidding anonymous comments would rob us of comments like the one above, lamenting our inability to lynch school board members. It would be a shame to lose such voices from our community discourse.

  3. Constant reports of failures at RUSD, inflamed with outrageous tax increases, while paying the highest administrative salaries, is bound to heighten frustrations from the taxpaying victims!

  4. Pack the meeting with NEA members. Get a pile of money "for the children" then split it up amongst said NEA members. Share the pain. We taxpayers are taking 20% pay cuts and you take 8.3% more?

  5. God forbid we the tax payers express rage at more out of control spending. After all we simply should trust our elected officials since they know what is best.

  6. It is important that we know who the members of the school board are:

    (Source: http://www.racine.k12.wi.us/?do=contact.content&pageID=28 )

    Board of Education2009-10 SCHOOL YEAR
    James J. Shaw, Ph.D.
    2220 Northwestern Avenue, Racine, WI 53404 (262) 631-7064
    Email: Jim.Shaw@racine.k12.wi.us

    Mrs. Susan F. Kutz (Vice President)
    (262) 554-9616
    4937 Regal Court, Racine, WI 53406
    Email: Susan.Kutz@racine.k12.wi.us

    Ms. Julie McKenna
    (262) 638-9512
    724 Crabtree Lane, Racine, WI 53406
    Email: Julie.Mckenna@racine.k12.wi.us or JulieMcKenna@netzero.net

    Mr. Bill Van Atta (President)
    (262) 385-1163
    127 Morningwood Drive, Racine, WI 53402
    Email: William.VanAtta@racine.k12.wi.us

    Ms. Pamala Handrow
    (262) 633-4517
    1601 Grand Avenue, Racine, WI 53403
    Email: Pamala.Handrow@racine.k12.wi.us

    Pastor Melvin Hargrove
    (262) 681-1691
    2130 Racine Street, Racine, WI 53403
    Email: Melvin.Hargrove@racine.k12.wi.us

    Mr. Dennis Wiser
    (262) 554-6918
    2517 Pinehurst Avenue, Racine, WI 53403
    Email: Dennis.Wiser@racine.k12.wi.us

    Mr. Don J. Nielsen (Treasurer)
    (262) 639-8552
    3317 N. Wisconsin Street, Racine, WI 53402
    Email: Don.Nielsen@racine.k12.wi.us

    Ms. Kim Plache
    (262) 886-6774
    110 Emerald Drive, Racine, WI 53406
    Email: Kim.Plache@racine.k12.wi.us

    Dr. Gretchen L. Warner (Clerk)
    (262) 210-2109
    2716 Red Fawn Court, Racine, WI 53406
    Email: Gretchen.Warner@racine.k12.wi.us

  7. Lets be sure to contact them and nicely tell them what we think. As well we should look for others to run for their offices. We together can take back RUSD

  8. Anon 9:59 - Well said! Your point is valid. I think we both know that finding others to run is the challenge. I posted the current members for awareness and accountability. That said, I am not going run - and that does not exempt me, you and those of us opposed to their decision from expressing / influencing how they run the system.

    I also share the sentiment that civility and respect occur in any and all contact with public officials.

  9. Go ahead and raise taxes again to pay for a failing school system. Then listen to the sucking sound as more people (and businesses) leave Racine. Then you can raise taxes again to make up for the loss, until Racine looks even more like Detroit. Here's an idea: stop spending money on computers for schools where the kids can't read what's on the screen. You can teach everything most of these kids are ever going to know with chalk.

  10. RUSD does not care about the kids they only care about the wages and benefits. Please if you can get paid more some please else GO, GO NOW!
    Let those who do care alone to fix a school where less then 50%=/_ can get the basic degree

  11. More money=More failure10/27/2009 7:32 AM

    You can raise taxes or you can reduce health care and pension benefits. By raising the levy 8+% this school board has shown inability to understand the economic realities of our community. It is time to draw a line in the sand, and withstand what ever labor action would result from a radically different approach.
    Unified must reduce its budget 25% Remember! It's for the children (who will have to pay for this travesty called Unified for years to come.)

  12. Every year we throw more money to RUSD for the same bad results. Send you kids to a private school to ensure an excellent and safe education. Check their scores in every category and they far excel anything you'll see in RUSD.

  13. Yeah! Close the public schools and let everyone home school their kids! How dare we spend another $79 on our children!

    And while we're at it, let's toss out the whole School Board because they voted for a budget supported by those sellouts over at the Racine Taxpayers Association.

    We should be able to run Racine's schools on $2,000 and good old-fashioned sweat equity ... or at least Google. Give every kid a laptop (wait, make every kid work to buy their own laptop), sit 'em in a room for eight hours and let them search for an education.

    That'll save a lot of money!

  14. Dustin - you are showing your pinko side again - tax, tax, tax - with lousy results. You should be ashamed of yourself. Private schools rule.

  15. I'm all for private schools, school choice ... anything to increase options and education opportunities in Racine.

    I'm really not for: tax, tax tax. But I am for: support children, support children, support children.

    Our No. 1 priority should be helping and supporting babies and children. Superintendent Shaw is on to something wit the "North Star" plan, but it shouldn't stop with Unified. Racine, Mount Pleasant, Caledonia, Racine County, the state should all follow the goal of preparing every child for college or a job.

    Imagine how that would change our community. Imagine the pride we could all share in supporting our children and watching them grow together. It'd be incredibly powerful.

  16. This is a failed system! We as tax payers should ask why are there kids in high school that can barely read? Need to cut some fat here, I mean a lot of fat!!!

  17. Even Lefties have to Eat10/27/2009 9:11 AM

    This is not support children. This is suppport employees of Unified. How long are you going to keep drinking this REA kool-ade?

  18. Dustin - in the last 20 year how many cure all plans have we had? Just spending more money with no positive results. As a matter of fact worse results. Private schools = no police in the schools, no gangs, no guns,no knives, 99% attendance, 98% go on to college or technical school, millions of dollars in college scholarships awarded, students can enter and leave sporting events with the opposing schools, no fights, you can walk through the halls at any time and see orderly behavior, extensive community volunteering etc. Why anyone would go to a RUSD school is beyond comprehension. And don't use cost as an excuse. Parents need to sacifice and give up their toys, there are grants, scholarships and God forbid the student works summers and partime during the school year to help with tuition. It can be done if the parents really care about their children's education.

  19. The Translator10/27/2009 9:22 AM

    Every other local governmental unit in the county (With the exception of Caledonia) is trying to present a no tax increase budget for 2010. These communities realize the pain their constituents are under and are doing whatever they can to provide services without raising taxes. Yes education is important. However, RUSD has a past history (Pre Dr Shaw) of throwing money around and thinking that will cure all the ills of the district. You also have people on the board with past history of Tax and Spend. And while I don't agree with comments advocating violence, the people are ticked off, and know that come December and April 15th, it's going to be painful. And for Dustin, and i guess even more Greg Helding for being a public servant to belittle people who criticize and want better is upsetting. No one wants RUSD to fail. But people do think they can do better. A negative comment is still a comment, and shows people do care. When a story like this comes out and no one comments, then I would be worried.

  20. People like Dustin make it sound like we are not already spending huge dollars on education.

    Huge dollars, poor results.

    It's for the children is BS Dustin.

    It is for the salaries. Almost 90% of education spending goes directly for teacher and admin comp.

    It is not about the kids.

    Everyone is struggling, we want our elected officials to at least try. Why does school spending always double the rate of inflation or more?

    And there is never a shortage of liberals like Dustin who want to act like we aren't spending anything on education. No one is calling for the closure of public schools but Dustin sure is playing the victim card

    Wait until next year now that the QEO has been abolished.

    Dustin, what does your wife do for a living? I would not be surprised if she was a teacher...

  21. Dustin, with all the money we spend now on RUSD should they not be able to graduate more kids?
    So glad that you can affort the new taxes and fees we get to pay for a gobverment that thinks we simply should shut up and pay our taxes. My advice to the school board Mayor and Rinos is to start looking for a new job your going to need it.
    Maybe our masters at J-Wax will spend money to help you get reelected but I think that the rage will keep growing and all the puff that The J-T and Post can print will not help.

  22. 10:36 - you think a 50% graduation rate isn't good. I remember prior to sending my child to a private high school Ms. Radliff said at a Horlick orientation meeting with students and parents that 50% of the students in the audience would not graduate. That was a real ringing endorsement - consequently my choice of a private school. That was 10 years ago so you can see all the money we have thrown to RUSD has not done a damn bit of good.

  23. It's OK, we don't all have to support children and education.

  24. Dustin - how can you support 50% non graduation. That does not seem to me to be education.

  25. Mr. Translator said " i guess even more Greg Helding for being a public servant to belittle people who criticize and want better is upsetting."

    I was referring to the first post, which has since been deleted, that suggested the way to deal with the school board was with a "Tall Oak Tree".

    Criticism and wanting better is one thing - I am all for that. Suggesting violence is a whole different ballgame.

  26. Wonder what our educators earn? Take a look for yourself:


  27. Did anyone know about this meeting ? Probably not. It is so easy to spend other people's money. Any program involving other people's money leads to inefficiencies, fraud, waste, and high demand for even more of other people's money.

    In West Bend people found out about their hearing at the last minute and 800 people showed up to protest. They still raised their levy 10.9% ! Politicians at the local, state, and federal level are out-of-touch with today's realities and their constituents. We keep paying more and more taxes only to keep getting less and less.

    This isn't about the children Dustin. This is about keeping the status-quo. This is about keeping high salaries and benefits. This is about frivolous spending that has nothing to do with education. Teachers don't need a union. They need to be held accountable and their pay should be merit-based. We don't need six figure administrators running around doing nothing more than figuring out how to pouch more money out of the taxpayers.

    How about imposing standards on the children. You fail you get held back until you are fit. Oh we can't do that. We need to keep offering excuses for poor behavior and laziness.

    My child goes to private school. Public schools should be competing with the private schools. You don't perform you don't get any money. I don't think public schools would be able to compete.

    Next year we need to throw out a lot of bums. At least we will get a new governor. We need fiscally responsible people in office who get it.

  28. Heather in Caledonia10/27/2009 12:40 PM

    Dustin, how much is enough spending? Don't we already spend about $6,000 a student? Would $10,000 be enough? Who can afford this? All of those poor people in Racine are going to have to shell out more for rent. What about the poor?

    Isn't what we're looking for is quality? It isn't about how much money is spent. I can't site the sources, but I've heard of private schools and charter schools who spent approximately the same amount of money as Milwaukee schools do and produce a much better education.

    Those who are saying how much nicer it is in private schools, please keep in mind that they are able to select who gets in and stays in. They don't have to keep those who misbehave and who's parents don't give a darn. RUSD has to keep them. They have no choice. I do think private schools are a good thing - in fact, I am very pro-school choice. If parents and students could compete to get into good schools based on hard work and ability instead of personal finances, I think it would make a great improvement in the attitude toward education. Let's make it competitive - kids love to compete (aren't they all about sports?) and "real world" jobs are competitive. If a child is in a good school and doesn't behave, maybe it would motivate their parents to help them if they know they'll be kicked out for misbehaving. Schools could also be setup for those with abilities and interests in certain areas to better help them prepare for getting a job. (Small Middle and High schools sponsored by car companies to train future mechanics and engineers?)

    OK. I'll stop rambling... :) One last thing - with this rate hike by RUSD, where does that put us for the cost of a Caledonia school district?

  29. Don't we already spend about $6,000 a student?

    Closer to $13,000.

    Love Dustin's comment, It's OK, we don't all have to support children and education.

    Way to fall right into the liberal line Dustin.

    If you are not in favor of 8% tax increases you don't support education or children.

    What a steaming pile of crap.

    How is holding the line on public employee salaries hurting children?

    No one is asking for cuts.

    The Democrats in the state legislature reduced the state aid, where are your attacks on John Lehman and Cory Mason both of whom serve on The Finance Committee?


  30. According to Dustin's logic John Lehman and Cory Mason hate children and do not support education.

    Is that what you are saying?

  31. Our teachers are getting payed WAY TO MUCH for the crappy job they do!(not all) Most of them don't give a rats a$$ about those kids! Here again $$$$$

  32. As someone stated....Public vs Private is apples and oranges.

    Private can cherry pick their students.

    Let me do that with one of the public high schools and with the same teachers, equipment, etc - I could give you the same results as a private school.

    You just can't compare the two side by side unless the playing field is equal.

  33. I love how everyone's solution to public school not doing so well is to just throw them in private schools. There are two problems with that. Number one, not everyone can afford private schools, especially at this time. And number two, you're not going to send your Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, or Jehovah Witness child to schools like Lutheran or St. Cats. Common sense will go a long way.

  34. John... Your smart enough, you'll be a leader some day! Go for it kid! Maybe we have a Mayor here.

  35. Ironically enough, I want to be a High School English teacher. Mayor is not a good role for me.

  36. John.... Think twice Kid, seems to me you got more smarts than most of our government leaders! I can see it now....You could be the first Mayor of Racine that wasn't old enough to drink! What ever you chose to do, GOOD LUCK!

  37. The RUSD equals a bad value proposition.

    Will increasing the tax levy address and solve the problems here?

    How much we spend per student is not what is important. It is elementary and overly simplistic. Surely we could agree that spending spending $30k per student would not yield return on investment. The issue is not money - it is the leadership and system of the RUSD.

    Evaluating the performance of Racine schools and the decisions the board makes is fair game. This includes their fiscal decisions.

    The RUSD board and leadership continue to let the students and the community down. They have shown that they are incapable of making hard decisions.

  38. Greg Helding - you do nothing but call the kettle black. Why did you "anonymously" get your brother hired on the Racine PD through the backdoor? Why not use your name for your other under the table dealings? Want me to continue??? Choose your battles carefully, Alderman.

  39. Rainbow Warrior10/28/2009 7:37 AM

    Your comment that a non-Catholic would be unwelcome or would not want to attend St. Cats is out of line. Where are you coming from with that? Have you been in a catholic high school lately? What do you think? It is wall-to-wall chatechism? Check it out before you make a sweeping characterization.

  40. Johnnie Boy - look at posts 9:20 and 10:58 and all your questions will be answered. In addition there are few faiths that are not represented at St. Catherine's so get your Walden School head on straight.

  41. So St. Cats is non denominational school now?

    That is so misleading. Maybe lots of people who are not Catholic use it. That does not mean everyone who is not Catholic would feel comfortable there. The Catholic religion plays a huge part. How often do they pray? Does the priest other religious leaders play a role however significant in the school? Are religious services part of the school activities? Some people would have a problem with it. John has a valid point.

  42. 2:54 - I have more of a problem with 50% graduation rate, truance issues, guns, knives, gangs, police in the hallways, having opposing fans exit out of separate exits, fights, metal detector's rather than a little religious information. No one is making the students Catholic - even in public backed schools there are studies of different religions. So you choose I'll take the private or parochial school.

  43. That does not mean everyone who is not Catholic would feel comfortable there.

    They they don't have to go there.

    The point you refuse to accept is they do welcome persons of different religions.

  44. Still waiting Duistin, according to your logic John Lehman and Cory Mason hate children and do not support education.

    They were part of the Finance Committe that cut state aid.

    After all education is only about the benjamins.

  45. I have never refused to admit that others go there. I even said some may be happy there. Go back and read it.

    you called out John saying few faiths are unrepresented at St. Cats. You went on to say he should get his Walden head on strait. Thought you needed your head on strait...so

    I was merely pointing out to you that some people may not feel comfortable with that choice religiously. It doesn't work for everyone which is something YOU have a problem seeing. Just because all denominations are welcome doesn't mean that everyone of all religions would feel comfortable with all the Catholic religion involved at the school.

    There are non religious private schools all over the country. If we had school choice maybe we would have more of those sorts of academy's open here.

    Sure maybe it is better than the public schools at this point.

    Right now though people can choose to go to Kenosha and other area public schools and get transportation reimbursement from the state DPI.

    Unified struggles to pay those districts back the money that they are owed for educating our residents.

    Everyone just going to St. Cats doesn't solve the problems. We need school choice or drastic educational improvement in our public schools to solve it.

  46. 1:12 - we need, we need, we need - well you are not going to get it at RUSD. If any parent cares about their children's education, the only option is private or parocial unless however you like the items mentioned in 2:54 - and I forgot one. You don't have to deal with the union mentality of the teachers.

  47. Rainbow Warrior,

    Having gone to St. Joseph's School for seven years, I can say that I know what I'm talking about. Every Monday we would go to a Catholic mass and I know from having several best friends at St. Catherine's that they go to mass as well. Yes, I'm saying that that would annoy many non-Catholic students and if they are Jewish or Muslim they would definitely take offense. I never said students would be unwelcome at St. Cats. I'm just applying common sense and saying that any child who is strong in their religious beliefs that are not Catholic would not be the most comfortable in that atmosphere. Christians probably wouldn't mind, but when kids have to go to service and have to take religion classes, you will see conflict. And how dare you tell me to get my Walden head on straight. Walden is the most accepting of all the schools in the district and I can say that having worked in shows at Case, Horlick, and Park. And it shows because considerate people think of how others feel and I'm only standing up for the religious minorities.

  48. Johnnie Boy - I'm only standing up for a guaranteed excellent education something you cannot guarantee at RUSD, as a matter of fact they can't guarantee a 50% graduation rate. No matter what religion you are - I'd take my possible uncomfortable moments as you call them in place other than what RUSD offers. Futhemore as you mature, you will go to many different religion occasions, funerals, weddings etc. Is that going to make you uncomfortable. Enjoy your Walden piercings, black clothes and tattoos.

  49. All you have to do is watch the students leave at 2:30 to know they don't wear black and have piercings. That is the sort of religious rhetoric nonsense hate, I don't want to have to endure for even a minute. "We don't eat meat on Fridays but we live in sin." I went to Catholic school growing up, so I know a little about how it goes. They judge you on your appearance even. If you wear jeans to church they look down their noses at you rather than be happy you came to church, not knowing your circumstances. I didn't want to go here but you with your black piercings went there.

    School choice vouchers are an option. Non religious academy's are an option. If we had vouchers they could be opened here.

    I think everyone knows that private parochial schools are doing well in Racine.

    Oh by the way Mayor Becker was a huge fan,supporter and promoter of St. Richards and St. Cats.

  50. 9:22 - someone always has a way of bringing Becker into every story - what's your point?

  51. Anon 7:58,

    You talk about excellent education and high graduation rate, and that's all well and good, but at what cost? As said before, at this time, some people can't afford to pay thousands of dollars for a private school. I'm not bashing them in any means, I went to private school and thought it was fine and I got a good education. But it's not for all people. If people aren't graduating, it's their own fault; it's not the teachers necessarily and it has nothing to do with how much they get payed. You blame the teachers because you don't see what goes inside school first hand like the students do. It's the willingness they put into it. And, thank you for mentioning our black clothes and our piercings and our tattoos. Well, instead of researching that, maybe you should research our graduation rate and our test scores. Our Middle School has an Exemplary Award, so just imagine our High School. You'd be surprised.

  52. Johnnie - I have covered everything I need to lay out how the private/parochial schools excel in every category over RUSD. I've covered the answers about cost as well. If parents don't care about their children - go on and take your chance on RUSD. I'm done with you. You are dismissed.

  53. Anon 9:59,

    I'd like to see you research St. Cats and Walden and compare and report your findings. And it's ludicrous to attempt to dismiss someone over the internet. Especially under the name Anonymous.

  54. St Catherine's would beat Walden probably in every educational category. Walden has them beat with black clothes, chains, piercings, colored hair, weird hair styles and tattoos. I would agree with you on those categories. If I am wrong I'll bet you the cost of a year at St. Catherine's. If you win that's what you'll get, If I win, you owe me the cash equivellant.

  55. As much as I would like to make that bet, I'm under 18 and that would be illegal, and I have no idea who you are, so I could be talking with Santa Claus for all I know. Like I said, do some research. You'll be surprised. And, we honestly don't have that many kids walking around with tattoos or piercings... not anymore than other schools. But, oh yeah, you wouldn't know because you're ignorant and take on the stereotype. There are some kids there who do, but forgive us for being accepting of those who prefer to be different. It's only ever helped us and our school. If you had your children shadow Walden, I bet they'd want to come. It's a successful learning atmosphere and the teachers are more than family; thus the term 'homegroup.' There's a blog on here that shows Walden's test scores in the middle school. Let's see St. Cat's beat that. I don't know the exact graduation rate, but I might be able to find that out by asking my counselor. Anyone who thinks Walden is a place for the socially inept and goths and stoners is sadly mistaken and has obviously never walked in our halls. It's kind of sad how ignorant and blind the adults are. I pity your closed mindedness and your infantile way of thinking. Maybe someday you'll learn.

  56. Well said John.

    This person trying to promote the private schools is showing their ignorance and immaturity.

    St. Cats still needs bells to move kids from class to class. Walden doesn't use bells. Crazy that someone with piercings and tatoo's can make it in a place like that. They would need to be personally responsible for being to each class on time without a bell?

    Also I have to say the artists and talent at RUSD is better. I have seen every St. Cats musical in the last dozen years and those of RUSD and St. Cats are very hard to sit through.

  57. 12:37 - if you want poor results - go for RUSD.

  58. Oh, I forgot to mention class bells and theatrics are the most important elements of a successful education. NOT - better come up with something better than that. Again - finally, St. Cat's excels in every educational category over RUSD - and even Walden - what % of your students go one to a technical school or a university - 98% like St. Cat's. I think not - so end of story.

  59. Oh yeah, love the stories last year about the start athletes at St. Cats. Drugs, drugs and more drugs. Yes, sling hot dogs for them at the stadium and work three jobs and your child ends up a drug addict anyway.

    Be realistic, St. Cats is not the utopia you are claiming.

  60. 12:19 - you must be a product of RUSD - what's "start athletes?" The % of RUSD kids doing drugs in RUSD is probably about the same as the dropout rate of 50%.

    Furthermore there is nothing wrong with kids working. The ones that work do sports or other extracuricular activities are the ones that best organize their time. When did we become a society when we don't think high school aged students should work? It is great experience, starting to understand business - learning about customer service and establishing some good work skills before they get out into the real world. The majority of RUSD students are losers. There is no comparrison in the end result of a private school graduate vs. the RUSD graduate - oh, that's right only 50% of them do graduate.

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