Thursday, April 23, 2015

Attacks on education

It's becoming clearer. The Republicans want to eliminate education, so that the masses are reduced to uneducated serfs laboring for their lords, and these serfs die off or starve if they get sick.

In Louisiana, the flagship state university is preparing bankruptcy plans. Thanks, Gov Bobby Jindal!
LSU and many other public colleges in Louisiana might be forced to file for financial exigency, essentially academic bankruptcy, if state higher education funding doesn't soon take a turn for the better.

Louisiana's flagship university began putting together the paperwork for declaring financial exigency this week when the Legislature appeared to make little progress on finding a state budget solution, according to F. King Alexander, president and chancellor of LSU.

"We don't say that to scare people," he said. "Basically, it is how we are going to survive." 
In Kansas, school districts are closing early this year due to lack of funds. Thanks, Gov Sam Brownback!
Six school districts in Kansas will close early this year, following budget cuts signed in March by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.....

Brownback has championed tax and spending cuts since he was elected in 2010. The governor's school funding reform this spring came less than a year after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that some of the state's spending cuts to education were unconstitutional.
You may not like Hillary or the Democrats, craven bunch that they are, but at least they support the concept of public education.


8thday said...

I am not convinced that this is a “Republican” agenda. My very Democratic governor is single handedly dismantling our public education system by establishing a total reliance on testing, reducing funding to public schools in favor of private charter schools, dramatically increasing state college tuition and dropping the education tax credit. As a result of his “progressive” policies teaching staff in local schools has been dramatically and dangerously reduced, almost all enrichment programs are gone, and special needs children have just fallen through the cracks. It is now not uncommon to need 5 years to complete a degree at our state colleges because required courses and staff have been severely cut back.

I don’t have an answer for how to adequately fund the rising expense of education but it seems to be a falling priority in a lot of states, not just the Republican ones.

Marshall Scott said...

In my upbringing, an education was considered not only a personal good but a public (community) good. We understood that my neighbor's education benefited me because it contributed to our shared economy and to our shared political life. That was the argument for a good publically supported education system, one that I still find critical. There are simply not enough private schools out there to provide the basic education to prepare the number of nurses we will in our next generation, or to provide the math skills for the number of technical workers we will need - indeed, that we need now.

And with taking that position, sibling 8thday, I do have an opinion: to have an adequate public education at all levels we have to return to taxing to support it. While we may not always get what we pay for if we do, we will surely get what we pay for if we don't.

8thday said...

I’m not sure more taxes are the answer. In my state, New York, taxes are so high that a significant out-migration of people and businesses has occurred. That has left fewer and fewer folks to shoulder the tax, causing further out-migration. The burden became so unbearable that the government recently imposed a 2% cap on yearly property tax increases just to try to stem the outward tide. This in turn has had a huge negative impact school budgets.

New York state spends the most per pupil, (even adjusted for regional indexes) yet ranks 19th on educational rankings. Meanwhile our neighbor Massachusetts has historically ranked highest in the nation on education outcomes yet they spend less per pupil, are below average on education spending as a percentage of their budget, and they get less federal aid than many other states who rank far below them in educational success.

So while I wholeheartedly agree with Marshall Scott about the absolute priority education should hold in our society, I am still not sure of the best approach to achieve the outcome we so desperately need.

IT said...

Well, I'm sure we can agree that shutting schools early and driving state universities into bankruptcy is NOT the way to do it!