Opinion

School district artificially inflating bus ridership numbers

Is it just me or are there two sets of standards around here — one for everyone else and another for the education establishment?

I was struck by that thought when reading the “School district pushing bus ridership this week” article in the Sept. 25 issue of the Independent.

At first glance, that seems like a fairly reasonable action for the district to take. The state awards transportation money to a district on the basis of how many students ride its buses; consequently, the more students riding buses this week when the numbers are being tallied, the more money SKSD gets.

And since the schools are a good thing, shouldn’t we just naturally want more money for them?

Not if it means stooping to trickery to get it.

Obviously what the state is looking for is an accurate count of how many SK students use the bus, and by definition, an accurate count wouldn’t require a special, week-long promotion encouraging students to ride.

All it would take is to calculate the number of kids on the bus on any given day and let it go at that. But that’s not what SKSD is doing.

When you get right down to it, what’s going on here is that the school district is actively encouraging bus ridership this week in order artificially inflate its numbers so it can syphon off a larger number of taxpayer dollars than it’s actually entitled to.

Which is inherently dishonest — and all the more so because it requires the students themselves to be accomplices in the deception.

But since it’s the school district, apparently it’s OK.

And we wonder why our kids come out of the schools these days with no concept of values.

J.M. Mezzanotte is a Port Orchard resident

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