Posted by Karl Denninger
Education Secretary Arne Duncan is asking lawmakers to put aside “politics and ideology” as they consider a request for $23 billion in “emergency” funding for public schools – a measure Republicans reject as a massive federal bailout for the teachers’ unions.
Let me remind everyone that our local middle school (Ruckel, if you care to raise hell) spent over $10,000 on Nintendo Wii “dance pad” systems, along with flat-panel television monitors, this academic year.
Budget crunch? Where?
If you have money to blow like this, you certainly don’t need more federal “bailout.” Said money could have easily gone to salaries and benefits, but instead, it was spent in preference to buying a bunch of dodgeballs for “physical education.”
“This is a bipartisan issue — politics and ideology, around education, we have to put to the side,” Duncan said during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” on May 21. “I’m very worried, very worried about anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 teachers being laid off this year. We have school districts — due to the horrendous budget times, conditions they’re facing — looking to eliminate summer school this summer, eliminating after-school and extracurricular activities, going to four-day weeks, not five-day school weeks…None of this is good for children. None of this is good for education. None of this is good for the economy. So we are urging Congress to move with a real sense of urgency to pass this legislation.”
Let me know when the schools stop wasting taxpayer money on frivolous crap such as the video games that were purchased here in this district. We can add to that the “smart boards” that were bought a couple of years ago in our local elementary school, along with yet more $1,000+ flat-panel television monitors that are used for 7.5 instructional hours every day to display the school’s clock!
“Nobody is asking for it on an ongoing basis. We’re asking for it because we see on the ground, in school after school, the consequences of devastating cuts,” Weingarten told Fox News. “In the ’70s, I watched what happened in New York City when…we lost a generation of kids….You don’t get to ‘do it over’ if you’re five years old. You’re only five once — and therefore, that’s part of the urgency here.”
When the money wasted by the schools on the sort of idiotic spending (that, incidentally, the teachers are involved in selecting and lapping up) is voluntarily returned by them to the district and used for instructional salaries then and only then would I consider such a request to be reasonable.
The only measure for education that I can justify passing is one that outlaws all union representation for educators and supplies every parent with a voucher for the per-pupil state and federal spending for said child that can be cashed at an educational institution of the parent’s choosing or, if they should so choose, pocketed if they homeschool and their child passes the standardized testing that the school system determines as “appropriate.”
(Incidentally, that “must pass to get the voucher” requirement should apply to the formal schools too. If the kid can’t pass the tests the school can’t cash the voucher. Put some economic teeth into the success or failure of the educational process and I bet we get more instruction and fewer Wiis.)