11 More Furlough Days?

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

Regarding upcoming cuts in pay for our school district. The adage ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ is a good strategy to employ in this situation. If your current financial situation is one of living paycheck to paycheck, it would be best to get on a strict budget right now. The 4 furlough days cut about 2% of our income away this past year. That probably hurt some, but was small enough to overlook in many cases. With the prospect of another 11 furlough days next year, we had better have a plan. 11+4=15 furlough days total. That is about 8.3% of our salaries. While we aren’t supposed to need that unless the governor’s tax initiative doesn’t pass, I recommend that each of us exercise the self-discipline to live on 8.3% less from the beginning of the school year. Set aside the overage in an emergency fund. If you can, set up your budget this way by cutting back on lifestyle or selling an item on which you are now making payments. You are going to be in much better shape for the cuts next year. If the cuts don’t happen you’ll have a nice little emergency fund all ready to go. However, if the cuts do go into place you won’t be caught off guard. You can go into them with confidence—knowing you are ready. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University can help you with this.

For more particulars on our district’s situation, see the slideshow here. My apologies. Some of the shots are a little fuzzier than others.

Whether the tax initiative passes or not, decline is on the horizon for California. Our state business climate is very poor because of regulation and taxes. Private sector businesses fund the public sector. If the private sector leaves the state, school district funding will only get worse. And guess what, our governor’s little tax initiative is one more example of making government bigger, and as a result, our business climate worse. If you would like to read more on how this works visit my post about Politics as Easy as Pie. Overall, I cannot in good conscience vote yes for the governor’s tax initiative.

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Getting the Bible Back into the Classroom

KJV BibleThe WallBuilders Live! broadcast this Thursday, 1/19/2012 highlighted the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS)program. This is a curriculum that teaches the Bible as a historical and literary text. The program draws connections with the Constitution, presidential inaugural addresses, the conflict in the Middle East, and a host of literary allusions and idioms that originate from the Bible. There is an electronic version which provides wider access to students. The classes already are in place in nearly 600 school districts, over 2,000 schools, and over 500,000 students have been through the class in the last 15 years. NCBCPS has a package for presenting to your local school board to get this for credit class into your high school or junior high. You can request a package on their website.

Some people might wonder if this is illegal in light of the wrong-headed Supreme Court opinion of 1963. NCBCPS deals with the legal question on the website. The fact is that within that opinion Supreme Court Justice Clark supported the use of the Bible as a literary and historical source:

“It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literacy and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203,225 (1963)