Connecticut's city leaders, including New Haven's, are always complaining about the huge amount of tax-exempt property within their borders, particularly regional facilities like government offices, colleges, hospitals, social-service agencies, and such. City leaders complain that these facilities consume city services while paying nothing for them.
But this week New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, other New Haven officials, and Gov. Ned Lamont celebrated the plans of Yale-New Haven Hospital to spend more than $800 million building a neuroscience research center at the part of the hospital's campus formerly occupied by St. Raphael's Hospital.
The project may pay the city as much as $8 million in building permit fees over three years, but that's peanuts. The research center will be tax-exempt too and pay New Haven nothing in property taxes.
So why were New Haven officials celebrating as another big chunk of downtown was locked off the city's tax rolls? They were happy because of the employment and prestige the research center will bring New Haven.
But of course those are the same benefits brought by most of the tax-exempt facilities city officials complain about.
Would city officials really like government offices, colleges, hospitals, and such to relocate to the suburbs and plop their jobs, prestige, and property tax exemptions there? City officials haven't proposed that yet. Instead they want it both ways — they want the jobs and the prestige of the tax-exempt facilities and to be able to use the property tax exemption grievance to make the rest of the state feel guilty enough to overlook city government incompetence and corruption.
Parents in Hartford, the Hartford Courant reports, are being called racist for complaining about the lack of discipline in the city's schools as the school administration pursues what is called "restorative" discipline to reduce student suspensions and expulsions.
Teachers have told the city's Board of Education that students are biting, kicking, and throwing things at them, using abusive language, and threatening them. "They have no fear of consequences, because there are none," one teacher said.
In response Hartford parents sneer that white teachers aren't qualified to discipline black students.
The complaints of the Hartford teachers echo those made by teachers from around the state at a General Assembly hearing in February, where testimony suggested that the collapse of discipline in public schools is becoming comprehensive. Many school systems, including Hartford's, have made a policy decision to accept constant disruption in school rather than risk being accused of contributing to the "school-to-prison pipeline," which is said to begin with student expulsions. Schools now consider it better to ruin education for everyone than to fail to award a high school diploma to a student who has learned nothing in school except that he doesn't have to behave.
But the "prison pipeline" doesn't begin with school at all but with the breakdown of the family as facilitated by the welfare system. When parents fail, their children fail, and teachers now are seeing that "restorative" discipline fails too, that it is only politically correct nonsense to camouflage the failure of public education itself.
Since teacher unions support PC nonsense elsewhere, it may be only fair that this much of it should be dumped back on their members. But this means more flight from public education and from the cities as government abandons them to the incorrigible underclass it created and sustains but dares not examine.