Thursday, November 11, 2010
Advice for the new majority
I think that it is time that the legislature and new governor solve the school funding problem in Wisconsin. If you take the costs of schools out of the budget it remarkably comes into balance. This problem is the remnant of the "I dare you vote" that the Democrats presented Gov. Thompson. In it the State agreed to fund 2/3 of the cost of schools in an effort to limit property tax increases. There were several problems with this, but one of the biggest was that the State was paying for something that the State had little control over. This is a State that is big on local control. What is the solution? It needs to be a major reform. You can't nibble around the edges. The conservative believe if the QEO is reinstated it will all be good. No it won't! A good first step would be to make teachers state employees. We could move to privatize the entire system. This is extremely unpopular, school choice yes as long as it is public money. What I'm saying is no public money. Some say that this will lead to an erosion of standards and quality. Look around we already have that. I believe that there should be curriculum standards but look at some of the standards in other states like Texas. Texas has become the Federalist state in terms of the history of the founding. Of course, if you follow the Federalists there should be no public schools. Public schools are a construct of the German immigrants to the country. Granted a person like Jefferson or Paine would agree with the idea of pubic schools. The problem with the public schools is how to fund them and this is something that we haven't figured out in the US. In Germany, France, and the Scandinavian countries they are federally funded. Other countries tax gambling, use sales taxes, or rely on private schools to educate more. The new majority needs to come up with some real ideas this time.