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Letter: Update our school funding formula

People turn out to vote on Tuesday, May

People turn out to vote on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, on the school board, budget and issues at the Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

If people didn’t have to pay school taxes, they could afford to sent their children to competitive private academies [“Lower taxes for the childless? These say no,” Letters, Jan. 23].

Such academies would proliferate, and the law of supply and demand would lead to lower tuition costs.

After all, millions of working class Americans have sent their kids to parochial schools. But I think the concern is more about financing schools via property taxes and how that can not only make homeownership undesirable, but has an especially deleterious effect on retirees and others with low or fixed incomes.

I live in a school district established in 1902. The two adjacent districts were organized in 1812 and 1835. Back then, most people were farmers, and land was the source of their income.

Today, these communities are crowded suburban neighborhoods, and property is a result of income, not a source. It would make more sense to jettison a pre-Civil War accounting practice and develop community economy-structured formulae of sales, income, commercial real estate and import taxes to pay for public schools.

Paul Manton, Levittown


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