Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An Education Dearly Bought

Today, Tuesday, May 2 is election day all across Michigan. Most of the elections are for school board races and school bond proposals. I wish I could help you out on the school board races, but the truth is that I can't.

I can help with the bond initiatives, though. I recommend that you vote against any bond initiatives on the ballot. Here in Kalamazoo County, the Kalamazoo Public School District is demanding a tax increase. (Check out this very annoying article in the Kalamazoo Gazette to see what is on the ballot in your area.)

School districts always seem to be requesting tax increases. But are we really getting our money's worth out of government schools?

World Magazine columnist Joel Belz points out that government schools fail at a rate that would never be tolerated in the private sector. Furthermore, the problem is only likely to get worse, as schools continue to lose good people.

Meanwhile, government schools are consuming more and more of our money. Lars Larson writes that many schools are spending more than $10,000 per student. Teachers' unions and government bureaucrats can be expected to argue that they need more money to do a better job. But spending more money cannot solve the problem of the misuse of money. This goes beyond whether or not the schools have good leadership. How much more evidence do we need that socialism doesn't work?

Government schools need to be held accountable for their record of failure. Voters should reject sending any more money to them.


Dan Roth said...

I can cite a prime example of all of this in my home district. We have a proposal to continue a "technology millage." This millage would go towards any technology that schools want. Yet I voted against it. Here's why:

1. I sub in these schools and I see kids mistreating the computers they have left and right. I'm not talking about using them to see sports scores or stuff like that. They'll do stuff like turning off the computers without shutting them down, visiting multiple website that will most likely have spyware (the computers don't have spyware scanners on them), and all this other stuff. The kids don't even use the tech they have properly, why give them more?

2. The money they spent the first time they got this millage was poorly used. They put three computers in every classroom in my local high school. However, these computers never get used for academics. If a teacher wants the class to use computers, they'll take the class to the computer lab. Putting a small number of computers in each classroom was a mistake.

3. They never said what they were going to do with the money. They would say things like "We can do this, this, and this" but never said "We're going to do this." All they've said is that it will be used on technology costs. That's pretty vague. Unless there's more detail, I won't vote for any budget.

Finally I've spurred a bit of a write-in campaign for myself for our school board. We don't have a single conservative on the school board and none are running. So while I wouldn't be able to accept the position, if I won the write-in campaign, it would show the school board that the people want conservative values in their school.

Gregor said...

when i stepped into the ballot box this afternoon, after having done a bit of research on all the candidates and the issues placed before me, i very nearly cast a blank ballot. there were 2 proposals relating to township taxes and a total of 5 school board candidates running for 2 different sets of terms. The candidates had all been interviewed by the local paper, which had asked them all the same 2 questions, and received almost identical responses to both from every candidate. this raised the question (at least to me) of why they were running. i won't subject the reader to any more vague rambling on the subject.