Thursday, February 24, 2005

Texas Schools Don't Have Enough Money?

In my browsing among the blogs this morning, I notice some of my fellow Texans are concern with what is going on down in Austin with school finance. It really is an old story to me because the problem is that no matter what there never will be enough money to do the insane policies we are doing now.
You heard me right – insanity has taken a hold of all the school districts in Texas.

Now before you call me loco totally, lets examine a few things first. Lets us ask ourselves what the real purpose of our schools is. Back when country first started most people sent their kids to school to learn the basics of reading, writing and math. The textbook back then was the Holy Bible. It taught them everything they needed to know from this one book. Then as years went by they added Science and History and even had specialized books for the courses as the time went on. This of course; and not so many years ago, was usually taught by a single teacher. (I am not suggesting that this needs to happen today.) Then as time went on our population of course got bigger, and the need for more teachers. Which is fine with me. I like the idea of having specialized teaching these subjects anyway. This allows the teacher to the best education possible for students. We built new schools, and provided books and the equipment as it need it. Even put air conditioning in the schools as well.

Before long we added sports, drama, band, and all kinds of things. They of course said this would help our children be better equipped in life by having these things. Teaching then cultural things. Of course my parents said fine we could do that. But they stressed that kids need to have emphasis on the basics of education. Somewhere along the line the path got skewered and all of a sudden we have kids who now go to school to learn how to be a professional athlete. Schools in an attempt to show they have the “WINNER” program goes out and gets the right people, the best equipment, the best of everything so that Johnny Q will not be without. The band, the cheerleaders, the booster club. All of which need to be included now. It started in the colleges then worked it way on down to our High Schools in time. So now we are talking big money to do all these things. But has our education improved along the way? What about the basics? Deos anybody care anymore? Even our Jr High and Elementary schools are not doing much better.

Now with all these extra curricular activities- have our kids improved on the basics of Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Science and History? Studies that have been released that are honest report now- show that it is lacking. We see now that teachers are not teaching subject anymore they are teaching the “TEST”.
We all have read about tragedies of kids going to college, but cannot read at a college level. They don’t even know how to balance a checkbook because they can’t add and subtract. But boy can they run the 40 – 4.0 flat. Carry that old pigskin up and down that field. Slam Dunk that ball from 15 feet out.

But what happens when Johnny Q gets injured on the field. What happens if Johnny Q can’t make it in the Pro’s? You have a bigger problem because now he does not have any practical skills to get a good paying job. Johnny Q 9 times out 10 becomes either drug addict or alcoholic- because can’t face failure. Can’t face the fact he wasted away his education for a little glory on Saturday afternoon. No longer are the pretty girls calling. No longer are the cars, and fast times calling either. But is it really Johnny Q’s fault?
Or is a product of a school system with skewered, with bad ideas of what it takes to be successful in life.

You maybe saying to yourself I am not being fair here. Look at all the good that has happened down the years. Look at all the success stories we can talk about. Ever thought about how much of a percentage that equals out to? You say I am picking on the sports only. Yeah you are right because it is the biggest expense that schools have now. They sure don’t spend all that money on a history lab some place. Dollar wise the sports are just huge expense and drain on the schools. The return is dismal at best.

Now you can see why I say we need to look real hard on what we want out of our schools in Texas anymore. Do we want to have our maximize efforts towards giving our children the best education money can buy. Or do we continue down the path of irresponsibility?
For far to long the focus has been on cry of “only if we had more money”. Only “if we could just get a better gymnasium for the kids to play in” Only “if we could make our track like the Olympics”, “our swimming pool is below standards” it goes on and on. Is throwing more money the real answer to the problem?

While we are at it can we pay the English teacher a decent salary? Can we pay Mr. Robinson the math teacher enough so that he does not have to work in the evenings to support his family? Principle Jones has a huge salary; it almost takes three teachers to equal his salary. How about the superintendent with his salary would take 5 principles to equal in some places. So you can the how heavy it gets at the top. But the teachers are left with crumbs in most cases. You don’t go into teaching to make good living- you do it because you love it and are willing to sacrifice a lot of things in order to do it anymore. They get very little thanks in the end.

So as you can see we have a lot of problems in Texas schools. In many districts they are stretched so thin because they are under Federal mandate to teach in both English and Spanish. (Seems to me they should learn English if you are going to live here.) Also how many of these so-called “legal” immigrants are even paying anything in taxes to help out here? Don’t give me that cock and bull story they pay taxes too in sales tax. Do they pay property taxes, income taxes? See what happens when you let liberals rule by courts instead of by the system of Congress, Senate and Executive branch. You can’t run a country on good intentions and feelings.

I won’t talk about the sham that Ma Richards sold us about the lottery funds to be used to educate our kids. Yep went right where they wanted it- in the general fund. Money that supposed to ear marked for our schools. What about the wonderful Robin Hood plan that the liberals dreamed up- steal from the rich districts to pay for the little districts inability to keep up with Joneses in Dallas or Houston. It left a hole in the big districts, which of course required more tax dollars to offset the shortage. Wonderful plan that was. It is all most as successful as the “War on Poverty”. The only thing positive in Robin Hood is that it has not reached over 3 trillion dollars yet. But give’em a little time it will.

So here we are today with them screaming for more money. So you see enough is never enough for these hogs. It is expensive to feed liberal hogs. They require only biggest and finest for their trough.

So you see why I say it is time reassess what our goals and needs are for the kid’s education. What are the things we really want to see happen for our kids? If we want schools to train for professional sports then we should create such schools for those who are gifted and can make it. But at the same time train them in a trade. This should be supported either by corporate sponsorship or private funds. Not the Taxpayer.

The same should go for all activities away from the basics of what school is suppose to be. Taxpayers should no longer be saddled such extravagance anymore. I am sure if we were to do this there would be plenty of money for teacher salaries, and new tools that would be needed to help them with. We could then compete with corporate America to keep our finest and brightest stars in the profession they love.

But will these kinds of things be considered in the current session down in Austin. No it won’t happen, because they only hear “ we need more money for the children” our “children are being deprived of an education because of money”.

Believe what you will, I for one will not buy it. Just like I don’t buy into stock options for a bridge in the Sahara desert either. But our politicians will do it every time, so long as we will let them. Besides it not their money they are spending. It belongs to the good old Taxpayer they love to abuse. You can bet when this is all over with, that they will sell you those stock options weather you want them or not. My only question is do I get any Vaseline in this deal? Hear the little piggies coming? Squealing with delight cause there more money in trough. Oink Oink.....;>)