The Jefferson Iowa News®



I'm madder than George Bush in a corn maze when I hear that public schools are underfunded! When parents are asked what is wrong with our schools, they instantly state "lack of money" first and foremost! Do they realize how much money is spent per year per student? About $10,000!

Do the math (providing you were taught that) - That's $250,000 for a classroom of 25 students! And it's all operating money - the land and building are usually already paid for! What kind of class could you have for a quarter of a million dollars? Public schools are absolutely rolling in money! In 2004, America spent more on public schools than on the military - and that includes the war effort!! We spend vastly more on public schools than any of those countries that continually do better than us on tests.

In the 1980's, Kansas City decided to upgrade their schools and spent two billion dollars to do so! The result? Schools got worse! The Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its accreditation!

Everyone is being conned! You could give public schools all the money in America and it still wouldn't be enough! Charter schools throughout the country are spending a lot less money and achieving superior results!

A favorite argument is that "we need more money so we can have smaller classes". But the student - teacher ratio has already fallen from 24.7 to 15.9!

In the face of these statistics, there is now a movement led by teachers to cut the school week to four days! That's right, more money, less services! What we have now does not work, so let's get by with even less of it!

If you think your kid is getting a good education, ask him to find Lithuania on a globe, or ask him why the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor! Does he even know where Pearl Harbor is? See if he can multiply or divide something in his head! As an American and a taxpayer we should expect and demand better from our schools before writing them blank checks!

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Orville K. Bass, American

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