There's a lot of vocal resistance to the school cafeteria proposal, which comes as no surprise. Who wants to do in the lunch ladies?
We're not going to take sides in this lunchroom tempest, but we are going to make a few observations.
First, the school board, and indeed all local and parish governments, are faced with having to make some tough choices. Tax revenues are dropping, and there's no telling when or if they'll be back to where they once were.
And second, in a region which is decidedly conservative, you hear a lot of talk about smaller government, but mostly in reference to Washington and Baton Rouge. Because making tough cuts is like a fly buzzing around a candle. The closer to the flame you get, the more heat you're going to catch.
For years parish government has ballooned while our population has remained stagnant. Some budget increases were absolutely necessary; others were due to lawmakers wanting to make their constituents or friends happy or just not being able to say "no." No doubt that government has been a big job generator locally, even while private businesses bearing the tax burden were rightsizing.
So let's give credit where it's due. The school board is considering changes which would not impact academics and they're getting push-back. If this proposal gets shot down, other cuts will have to be made, and one way or the other there will be fewer public payroll jobs around here.
We empathize with both sides, the school board and those who want to protect the lunch ladies. But we also realize that along with balanced meals in our schools, a balanced budget must be served up to all parish taxpayers.
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