Saturday, April 09, 2005

education money

Achpundit wrote about education funding.
The basic problem is that [a tax swap] hurts suburban districts that are politically powerful so any deal is unlikely to work without a general tax increase that involves some sort of hold harmless function for them in terms of state funds. This hold harmless condition is why Blagojevich won't touch it--there is no way to generate that much cash without a general increase in taxes meaning sales or income.
Here's my observation.

Liberals have been talking about making education "equal" and "closing the gap" for decades.

This pushes lower-middle income "Whites" toward the conservative camp. There's two ways to close a gap or achieve equality. One can bring the bottom up, but it's always easier to bring the top down.

Lower-middle income "Whites" know that rich kids aren't going to be brought down to the level of Black kids, but affluent liberals are willing to sacrifice the children of lower-middle income "Whites" for liberal ideology.

I would advocate a two-prong fix of education funding.
1. Health care costs. School districts are powerless to contain skyrocketing health care costs. Have the federal government protect local government, including school districts from health care costs that rise faster than inflation.
2. Vastly improve education. Society should rethink education from the point of view of serving the middle of the bell curve. In the '50s the United States started to emphasize honors/gifted education. More recently the United States has devoted vast resources to disabled students. Society should figure out what constitutes a high quality education for everybody and create a system that vastly improves education across the board. When the parents become convinced that there's a plan to improve education for their children the money will be there.


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