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February 2005   
Dumb And Dumber, Education Gone Wild By John Newby


John Newby February 9, 2005

It's household budget time. Taking a cue from our fiscally conservative leaders, let's only spend $20,000 more than we bring in this coming year. While that sounds like poor financial management for your household, in Washington, a nearly $500 billion deficit in our governments elaborate transfer of wealth scheme is called "fiscal prudence." Roughly 52% of all American earnings go towards this rip off, I can't figure out who is dumber, the politicians for submitting it or the American people for actually voting these financially and morally corrupt spendthrifts into office over and over and over again. Now, while it may sound like I'm hammering the Republicans (I am), don't get me wrong, the Democrats invented the word "spend." But, alas, it doesn't matter if you go over a 900 foot cliff at 60mph or 30mph; the landing is still the same.

Let's look at one organization that epitomizes government fraud, waste and abuse - the Dept. of Education run by the NEA. No, not the useless National Endowment of the Arts, but the National Education Association. Never has a government poured so much money into a system that yields such pitiful results.

Let's review the facts. Ross Peret's sucking sound wasn't only jobs going south; it's the Dept. of Education siphoning off $58 billion of your yearly tax dollars, a 100% increase in just the last 5 years. This, while test scores are dipping and more kids are becoming illiterate. Per pupil spending has increased (in 2002 dollars) from $3,066 in 1962 to $9,354 in 2002. Secondly, most Americans are enthused about the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT. Trust me; it's an act out of "Nightmare on American Main Street." Unfortunately, most Americans don't understand that once schools fail to meet certain standards, the government comes in and forces the changes they want. That's like saying, "If Saddam Hussein fails, we'll remove him and put Adolph Hitler in to turn things around." Change isn't always what it is cut out to be.

Let's look at Iowa. I choose Iowa but could substitute any other state. The taxpayers of Iowa contribute nearly 60% of their yearly state budget to this farce called education. Realize that 60% amounts to $3 billion each year! Wouldn't anyone with a brain tucked away in their head want to ask questions? But it gets better, when combined with federal aid and property taxes; the state of Iowa spends $4.5 billion for its PK-12th grade education. This is over $9,000 per student per year. With an average class size of around 25 kids, that's $225,000 per class each year.

Contrast that with several of the private schools. I know first hand kids attending some private schools can do so at a cost of $2,250 per year. Now I'll confess, those kids don't have the newest bananas and condoms with which to weave their sex education magic nor are they enlightened with the literary genius of "Billy's two daddies." But come on - a 400% difference in the private sector versus the government's financial debacle. As Kenny Rogers said, "You've got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em." It's time that Americans mandate that we fold'em and relegate this financial disaster to the ash heap of history.

Of course, doing that would raise the ire of the most corrupt of unions. Unions will never support vouchers or free choice as this would ruin their monopoly. These corrupt unions play the teachers like a cheap violin and the teachers are none the wiser. In the end, it's the teachers getting the shaft, free choice allows teachers to receive higher wages and be promoted based on the novel concepts of production and merit. (Both terms are foreign to unions and government.) Funny, you never hear this in the union halls. But as usual with most everything else, it comes back to money and/or power. Reduce the number of teachers paying dues each year and you'll see why the unions fight any reductions or cutbacks.

Rest assured, if the Dept. of Education, unions and/or NEA are involved, it's not good. Guard your pocketbook with your life and never vote for another dollar for education until the school systems are brought back to the state level where they constitutionally belong.

2005 John Newby - All Rights Reserved

John Newby is currently the Circulation Director and Columnist for the Moline Dispatch Publishing Company. Prior to his current 15 year career in the media industry, he served his country as a Weather Forecaster in the Air Force. He's a regular speaker at industry training sessions and enjoys the opportunity to present his ideas.

While not adored in most newsrooms, his columns consistently generate excellent response as he concentrates on media biases, fact-less reporting and the ongoing attacks on the Constitution. John is happily married to his eternal partner Kathy and have been blessed and kept busy with their nine wonderful children.