Last year, the Kanawha County Board of Education prudently asked voters to approve a school excess levy that would raise no more than $44 million a year - $220 million over five years.
The public readily approved this restrained request.
Now the board thinks it is facing a $2.5 million deficit next year and was irrationally prudent in putting a flat cap on its excess levy.
So board members voted 4-1 this week to ask voters to approve a second school excess levy that would raise $24 million more - $21 million for the school system and $3 million for the Kanawha County Public Library - in the first year.
But this second school excess levy would not be capped, and would raise an estimated additional $131 million for schools and libraries over five years.
So that's $44 million a year from the first excess levy and $26 million a year from the second excess levy . . .
The mind reels. It's like a whiplash injury followed by a direct hit from a lead balloon.
The public will have questions:
* Does this mean the recession is over and free-spending times are here again?
* Why would a possible $2.5 million deficit call for $21 million more a year and more in subsequent years?