Where Should the Burden be Placed?

The Kent County Times reports that the West Warwick school district is making progress on its $3.1 million deficit.

The savings of $555,000 through the end of Fiscal Year 2009 will not close the $3.1 million deficit that the schools still face, [Director of Administration and Transportation Michael] Petrarca admitted. But the contract, which was approved by both the school committee and the union but has not yet been ratified, is only part of the recovery plan, he emphasized.
We said that we’re not going to try to keep teachers shouldering the whole burden,” Petrarca said. “We have one more contract to negotiate [with Council 94] and will begin negotiations next week. We will be reducing 20-30 positions in the district, which we can do because the enrollment is decreasing.”

Often the question of burden is raised – during budget season and especially now, when contracts are coming up for renewal during tough economic times. Isn’t this pretty straightforward? Shouldn’t the “burden”, or necessary budget reduction, be distributed proportionally to the spending categories in the budget? How else would it be done?

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