Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lawsuit Shakedown Presented as Education Aid

Are you pressed for time today? Then don't read the entire story in today's Omaha World-Herald about yet another "new and improved" school aid formula from the Nebraska Legislature. Click below for the only sentence necessary to grasp the situation.

"The bill would increase overall state aid to schools by $70.4 million, and 41% of that would go to the four districts suing the state."

The public school districts in Omaha, Grand Island, Lexington, and South Sioux City have sued the state for more money to subsidize the education of minority and non-English-speaking students. I have never supported this grab for money because I know from experience that it is possible to successfully educate disadvantaged students for less money than those school districts claim.

The issue isn't money. If we (1) peel bureaucratic mandates off of those schools, (2) pare down the bureaucracies at those schools, (3) put pressure on parents to send their children to school ready to learn, and (4) divert the worst 5% of troublemakers to alternative education so teachers can return to being teachers, then the mainstream schools can do the job without double-digit funding increases every year.

Instead, in the service of political correctness, we subsidize out-of-wedlock childbirth and then turn schools into all-purpose social service agencies to accommodate dysfunctional children and families. It's a much more expensive and much less effective way to train young people for life.

State Senator Ron Raikes and other policy-making leaders in state K-12 education favor consolidation into big urban school districts, so it's not surprising that OPS and other such districts are being accommodated.

You read it here first: No matter how many millions of tax dollars senators throw at those districts, and no matter how much "save the children" rhetoric is employed to justify it, there will be no improvement in education and learning until the four things I mentioned above are done.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

Your four points are well taken Chip but will still produce about the same results we see now...decreasing results for increasing costs. There's only one sure cure for what's wrong with public schools, competition. If each student of a citizen or legal resident were allocated "X" dollars/year and the dollars followed the student for public, private, parochial or home schooling...competition will produce a better result with costs that don't escalate at the annual inflation rate or beyond each and every year. Or even better yet, let's abolish tax supported public education all together. Education truly is a privilege not a right...even if some misguided law here says so. Let parents decide where, when, how and how much education their children should receive...and let them pay each and every dollar for it. You will then have very involved parents at every step. For those who make bad choices, let them compete with the illegals for low paying, no skills job or starve. Outside of the "developed" or "civilized" world, that is the reality and if we keep taxing productive people out of existence at an ever increasing rate, we will in not too many generations look just like any other third world country. If private charities want to sponsor schools, etc. for the poor or unfortunate, encourage them. Just as long as you aren't taking money from productive citizens at the point of a gun to support those who aren't productive.