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June 07, 1974 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-06-07

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TIME
Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, June 7, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
The Daily endorses:
Yes on city millage
IN URGING SUPPORT of the 1.7 mill property tax
increase for city revenue that appears on next
Monday's election ballot, we recognize that many
problems exist with such a proposal.
The millage - a one-time levy - is needed to
balance the fiscal 1975 municipal budget which
will go into effect in several months. Without the
funds generated by the tax hike many services
would have to bereduced or eliminated.
The most disturbing of the suggested cutbacks
would come in the human resource programs which
include drug help, child and health care, and simi-
lar operations. These items are too important to
be lost for the want of the $1 million that the mill-
age would raise.
Additional reductions would come in municipal
personnel, if the tax hike is voted down. These will
also have a detrimental effect on the level and ef-
ficiency of the city's services.
Nonetheless certain difficulties with the mill-
age are quite obvious. First, all property taxes are
regressive and thus those who can best afford to
pay often do not carry their share of the load.
FURTHERMORE, THE ACTIONS of the city ad-
ministration in compiling the 1975 budget were
not fair to the citizens. The administration went
ahead and budgeted the money that would be raised
through approval of the millage without any guar-
ante the funds would be available.
The administrators were in effect spending dol-
lars which they had no compelling reason to believe
would ever be forthcoming. This is an unwise bud-
get procedure to adopt.
Finally the city must realize that it has got to
develop a new revenue source to counter the rising
inflation rate. With certain other considerations, a
city-wide income tax appears to be a workable solu-
tion and would help shift the tax burden to the
more affluent citizens.
Consequently despite its many shortcomings,
the millage should be approved as a temporary solu-
tion to a serious financial problem. But the city has
an obligation to adopt a more equitable fiscal pro-
gram on a longterm basis.
Without the funds the levy would raise, those
people least able to sustain a reduction in, city serv-
ices - the residents aided by the human resource
operations - would be the hardest hit. That should
not be allowed to happen.
No on school tax
THE UPCOMING city school board election will in-
clude among its ballot proposals a 1.3 mill school
tax increase.
This most recent addition to the school system's
millage monolith has ostensibly been earmarked to
create the new positions of attendance counsel or,
curriculum coordinator, and special education
teachers, as well as to cover inflation costs. The
funds are not slated to supplement current school
personnel salaries.

The Ann Arbor school system, like its counter-
parts across the country, is seriously deficient in the
area of special education. Unfortunately, there is
no guarantee that the millage proposal, if passed,
woud alleviaje the situation.
The city school's perennial attendance prob-
lem would not be solved or even dented by the pres-
ence of a salaried attendance counselor who hasn't
the slightest control over the business of education
or the stimulation of students' interests.
A curriculum coordinator could only aggravate

the current trend toward curriculum centralization,
threatening to further strip teachers of their much-
needed classroom autonomy.
IUDGING FROM THE past performance of the
school administration, there is strong reason to
believe that the bulk of a millage increase (tradi-
tionally exacted through the city's regressive prop-
erty tax) would rise to the top of the school sys-
tem's bureaucratic pyramid and there meet its end
-once again bypassing the group the current ad-
ministration gives lowest priority: its students.
Each passing year has seen the city's school
millage levy reach new heights of obesity through
the public's passive approval.
It's time to inform the school board that it
must trim its excess and cure its insatiable appetite
for funds doomed to mismanagement.
As long as the Board of Education chooses to
inefficiently squander its limited resources, or chan-
nel them into such educational nightmares as the
recently passed Plan F, the city's electorate would
merely be nodding its approval to a policy of waste
and misdirection by passing the millage approval.
Beck, Mann, Simpson
THE DAILY STAFF endorses Astrid Beck, Larry
Mann, and Will Simpson for the three Board of
Education posts up for election June 10.
We endorse Astrid Beck, the Human Rights
Party-backed hopeful, because she has been the
most outspoken of the 12 candidates in her criti-
cism of recent discriminatory decisions made by the
school board's 7-2 conservative majority.
Beck will fight to repeal Plan F ,a proposal
passed by the board last March which relocates 800
elementary and secondary students.
She strongly supports the middle school con-
cept, quashed by Plan F, which has offered work-
able alternative to the present school setup. If elect-
ed, Beck has pledged to consult community opinions
and to make the sort of long-range planning that
will not tolerate arbitrary Plan F's in the future.
Beck supports the full HRP platform and can
be counted on pushing for a better system of stu-
dent representation than the present non-voting
student advocate setup. She will also work to oppose
discriminatory racist and sexist board policies and
to improve equal education for all students, rather
than running tnder the cover of "tougher disci-
pline."
SECOND, WE ENDORSE HRP-backed Larry Mann
for school board. Mann, who is 14 years old, will
not appear on the ballot because state law prohibits
people under 18 from holding public office. How-
ever, write-in votes for Mann are essential if stu-
dents in the city's schools are ever to gain control
over the educational institutions that control their
lives.
Mann, a high school student, is probably the
best qualified candidate in this election. As well as
dealing daily with the realities of the school sys-
tem, he has been actively involved for several years
in the struggles for student participation in deci-
sion-making.
Mann has been a moving force in the local
Youth Liberation movement, and while a student
at Tappan Junior High he worked against heavy
official opposition to form a student union.
Mann supports the HRP school platform, which
calls for student and community control of the
schools. Throughout the campaign, he has been one
of very few candidates to take a firm stand o any
issue.
THIRD, WE ENDORSE Will Simpson, backed by the
"liberal caucus," because he has been the most
vocal candidate in his opposition to racial inequities
in the school system. He has vehemently opposed
conservatives who have blamed blacks and low in-
come children for failure in the system to provide

quality education.
While the conservatives harp on "tighter disci-;
pline," he declares that the schools should attack
the root causes of the "discipline" problem. He is
strongly opposed to the tracking system because it
funnels poorer students into lower tracks.
Simpson also can be counted on voting to re-
peal the controversial Plan F, opposing sexist dis-
crimination in the schools and working for more
effective student Input into school board decision-
making.

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