School Taxes and Net Neutrality

It’s no secret that in New York State, 60 percent of your property tax dollars go to school taxes. In fact, New York has long-ranked first in the nation for the amount it spends per pupil at $21,206. So where does most of that money go?

Not to the large number of school districts, nor top-heavy administrative structures. This is what the power structure would like you to think. Well, if it not to those two admittedly costly items, where does most of that money go? Well, according to a new report from the Empire Center, it’s teacher salaries and benefits.

According to the report, New York spent 114 percent above the national average on instructional salaries and benefits. So, out of the $21,206 we spend per student, $14,769 is spent on teachers salaries and benefits in New York. Nationwide, states spend an average of $6,903 per student on teacher salaries.

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What this means is that 70 percent of all dollars spent in New York schools are spent on teachers, their aides and other staff who directly interact with students in a classroom, whereas the national average is 61 percent. New York has the highest average teacher salary in the country at $77,628. New York has lowest pupil-per-teacher ratios with an average of 13.5 students to every teacher. New York has nearly 700 local school districts, the fourth most of any state.

So the question is, are New Yorkers getting education results commensurate with their education spending? Truth is, there is a lack of comparable data among performance indicators for different states. Still, from the data that does exist, there is very little evidence that New York’s schools, on the whole, produce dramatically better results. This is something to think about when you hear local officials say we need to spend more on the children.

Net Neutrality

The net neutrality regulations put in place under the Obama Administration involved subjecting the internet to Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, where it’s considered a public utility that is subject to the FCC. So, what is net neutrality? Simply put, net neutrality is the notion that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be able to “slow down, speed up, or block data as it is routed from its content originator to end users” in order to favor particular sites. 

What Obama did was put the internet under government control. Now, while the media has been busy reporting on various palace intrigues concerning the Trump Administration, the administration has been busy trying to kill these regulations. Being that most of you use the internet, I am going to tell you why the administration is right to do so. According to an article published in the Daily Wire:

1) When FCC first attempted net neutrality regulations in 2010, they were only able to cite just four examples of anticompetitive behavior. Cellphone networks, which are not subject to net neutrality, were shown not to engage in such anticompetitive behavior. Why? Well, in the real world, not the world of academia, such behavior does not survive in a free market.

2) Under Title II, the internet is subject to a wide range of regulations at the whim of the FCC, which means these vague determinations cannot be appealed, and affirmative decisions can be reversed at the agency’s whim.

3) The FCC can also subject ISPs to a slew of taxes under Title II. Since 2007, the federal government has been working hard to find a way to tax the internet. I have been writing and warning you about it since then. For the government, they see yet another pot of gold they want to get their grubby mitts on. The reality would be, that between the taxes and regulations, the FCC could make it more difficult for smaller ISPs to thrive in the market at the same time increasing costs for consumers. A win-win for government, a lose-lose for the consumer.

4) This gives the FCC the power to dictate what ISPs charge websites. The government will set the rates.

This was the Obama Administration’s attempt to solve a problem that did not exist. It was and is a power grab and a backdoor way into your wallets. Whatever you may think of this president, on this issue he is right.

This is what I say. What say you?

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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