Editor’s note: This article is from 1998, but is just as relevant now.
“The marching band at Dysart High School has had to fold, and there would have been no football team last fall–or basketball team this winter–had nearby residents not chipped in. At the middle and elementary schools, physical education and music are no longer taught. And throughout the 4,300-student Dysart district, equipment is lacking and teachers are leaving for better-paying jobs,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“What is happening here in this suburb west of Phoenix is, to some, a cautionary tale about what can result when the state Legislature allows school financing to fall short. But to others, it is a case of greed: They say many residents of the exclusive retirement enclaves built in this sunny golfers’ paradise are reluctant to pay for the education of someone else’s children.
“As the American population ages–with the number of citizens 65 and over expected to double by 2030–and more retirement communities spring up across the country, the question of who should foot the bill for public schools is bound to spark more bitter debates and widen the gulf between the generations.
“‘There are a lot of sweet old people out there, but there are some who don’t want to pay taxes,’ said Alicia Alonzo, 18, a senior who edits the Dysart High School newspaper. ‘It’s not like hating old people, but you feel this type of resentment. You’re in school and there are things you can’t do and you see it’s because of these people, so the money isn’t there. It’s kind of ridiculous because everybody pays taxes and they’re trying to squirm out of it.”
The rest of the article is here.