Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How Did THAT Get There? -OR- Cut THIS!

"trimming away both good and bad elements of schools and government bureaucracies."

I can't say exactly how many times I've read these words or very similar statements from the news stories about budget cuts that dominate the landscape.
The uniformity with which they apply to such wide-ranging people and places tells me that the real problem does not reside in FUNDING, but rather in the people and processes that allocate and apply SPENDING.

It's not a lack of MONEY that is plaguing things, it's the idiots who are calling the shots. And the idiocy they apply to their decisions. They can't tell good from bad? Helpful from Hurtful? Shit from Shinola.

Here's a hint:

What kind of idiots are they?
What kind of suckers do they take us for?
The answer to both questions is: First Class.

To be fair, the suckers can't get an even break. They know it. They don't like it.
The want the idiots to knock it off. They've tried to warn. They saw this coming
from the beginning. They aren't the problem here.

Thirty plus years of doing it "by the book". Next Year = This Year PLUS MORE.
Straight out of the book. Their motto: "It's Easy! We just do a bad job!"
Last year, our local high school district, at the end of their credibility plank, signed on to have the state board of education audit and monitor their finances. The state's appointed experts sifted through the numbers. They had oversight, recommendation and approval powers. These are specialists in school finance. They are the experts on what can and cannot be done with funds. Guess what? None of the district's spending was illegal. The panel wasn't there to determine if it was WISE spending. Only whether it passed the legalities.

They did recommend that the district cut out the middleman for their insurance plans;
A move that saved an estimated quarter of a million dollars a year. But they didn't address or make any referral about the 40 plus years that this spending enriched the politically connected middlemen that benefitted from the arrangement.

Like many most school districts in Illinois, this district pink-slipped all of the non-tenured teachers, RIFfed dozens more certified personnel. Has announced big cuts in Arts and Sports and most Extra Curricular activities in response to this financial crisis. In other words, once again, they're doing it by the book. The SAME book all districts received on how to handle "the funding crisis". Make these cuts. This way. Explain it like this...
"The teachers! The STATE! The Economy! Everybody's doing it! It is the consistency and near-universality of the action/reaction and finger pointing that stands out as odd. None of the reported accounts include explanations beyond the above. Each district's financial troubles are exactly like every others'.

Regardless of the schools' NCLB achievements, curriculum choices, demographics and reputation, this one-size-fits-all remedy is the best and only course of action.

Those who believe it's the students who've been dumbed down must be reading the same book as the idiots in charge. The kids are hip to the scam. They are that smart.
What's your excuse?

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