"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Job Opening: Interventionist for Government Liars, Wasteful Spenders, and Hoarders

I'm going to call A&E cable television to suggest a segment for its "Intervention" series. If you are not aware of these program, it deals with stories of people who are addicts to various substances. The interventionist tells the truth to the person about his/her addiction, and most of them ultimately agree to be whisked away for intensive treatment.

I suggest we contact the producers and report the Legislative and Executive branches of government for passing a $26 Billion Educational bill. Congress and the President should be reported for addictive spending and lying. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama tell us again and again...it's a crisis, it's an emergency...if we don't do anything, it would be terrible, awful, Armageddon. OK, maybe not Armageddon, but that's the gist of the shtick we've heard for the last 18 months as it relates to health care, energy, banking, GM, etc.

Imagine watching the "government intervention" segment: the first half hour of the show will concern the shenanigans and lies from the Federal Government. The second half hour will focus on state education departments for wasteful spending and hoarding the money so it can be used in next year's budget.

What's going to happen to the money given to the states to rehire teachers? It's probably not going to rehire teachers. Many of these states already have budgeted their expenses for the coming year, so this funding is a bit late to help them.

Could it be the state would like to hold on to this money to help it make it's educational budget next year? Wouldn't Jay Nixon look like Superman if he doesn't have to make more education cuts next year? This money isn't helping the Lindbergh School District which had to fire 35 teachers to make budget this year:


Read it carefully. No one really knows where the money will be directed. The superintendents don't know, the commissioner doesn't know, the state budget director doesn't know. We think it will be parceled out via formula funding, meaning the Title 1 schools will receive the majority of the funds, and a school like Lindbergh is, well, out of luck. As Lindbergh's superintendent said, "It's not fun to be on the wrong end of irony". The district who had to cut the most teachers in the state will not get any money for which it is allegedly intended.

As the article stated, the NEA called the legislation "a victory for Missouri students, parents and public schools". I could not disagree more. I believe the main problem of this legislation has been described accurately by Michael Podgursky, an economist with the University of Missouri who studies education data. An interesting tidbit he shares: schools nationwide have added to payrolls in rates that have far exceeded enrollment growth". With all due respect to the NEA, our tax money should not be funding teachers who are not needed...this is not a victory, this is financial malfeasance.

If you operated your personal finances like these entities, you would be in jail...or your family would call in an interventionist to restore you to sanity. Anyone out there looking for a job? Perhaps some of the $190 Million being sent to Missouri could be used for an interventionist to change behavior of these out of control governmental agencies.

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