Taxpayers in Clear Creek Independent School District, in Galveston County, are facing a $9.2 million tax hike. The superintendent, with a straight face, tells the local newspaper the schools have “exercised significant restraint.” Sounds nice, but that’s not what the record shows. School revenues are have risen 60 percent since 2001, even though the district only has 18 percent more students. Where’s the money going? Hint: not the classroom.

It’s not going into the classroom. There are 15 percent more teachers than in 2001, but there are 23 percent more employees in the district… That spells “administrative bloat.”

Indeed, Clear Creek ISD’s SAT scores have risen barely 2 percent since 2001, and ACT scores are stagnant. Yet per-student spending in the district has risen 40 percent!

School districts have been on wild-eyed spending sprees — buying expensive administrative positions, fancy assistants, and perks and toys out the wha-zoo. The dollars flowing into the coffers have been spent on everything but classroom expenditures.

Like we see elsewhere, Clear Creek ISD is claiming the need for higher taxes rises from the increased gasoline prices and utilities costs. That ship shouldn’t be allowed to float — they’ve been wasting money on way too much. If they were serious about restraint, legions of administrators would be looking for jobs.

Clear Creek Superintendent Greg Smith said his district is a “great bang” for the buck. Unfortunately, it’s a bang going off in the fiscal faces of the taxpayers.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”

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