It’s a long-standing tradition to protest cuts in public budgets by making those cuts in such a way as to maximize public discomfort. The theory (and it often works) is to outrage the people enough that they will protest the cuts and get them restored. Thus are the budget-makers’ pet causes, projects, and flunkies preserved.
There are countless examples. Transit service cutbacks? Discontinue routes. Library cuts? Reduce hours. Highway dempartment cuts? Cut back on pothole fixing in residential neighborhoods. Fire Department cuts? Close fire stations. And so on.
But the Andover, MA Superintendant of Schools has gone above and beyond all previous adventures in this field I’ve ever heard of. The teachers were granted a 1% raise in their contracts this year but no raise was included in budgets. It turns out that they needed to cut $366,000 elsewhere to cover the raises. They scraped together $266,000 out of other areas, but that still left $100,000. Their last resort was to take the money out of the supplies budget. And that includes switching from two-ply toilet paper to one-ply toilet paper.
Howls of outrage due to emerge from Andover parents in 5… 4… 3…