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Schools prepare for the worst

   Every year, school boards fall over themselves applauding their efforts to keep tax rate increases down to 3 or 4 percent. A budget proposal that will keep the programs in place and increase you tax bill by "only" $20 or $30 is cause for celebration.

   Those will indeed seem like the good old days in May.

   Barring an economic miracle, the state money that schools depend on to keep the local tax rate down is going to be cut drastically. Districts that worried when the aid didn't grow enough year to year will have to settle for millions less next year.

   Prepare for stories about people losing their jobs, field trips that the senior class has taken for years being eliminated, the tax rate going up by 10 percent or more and voters taking out their frustration by voting down budgets.

   Put it all together and there won't be much to cheer about it.

  --- Bruce Andriatch



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