Every campaign, no matter whether its for mayor, supervisor, city council, school board, General Assembly, governor, representative, senator, president, you name it, Republican or Democrat, and it's a rare exception when a candidate does not call for more spending on government run schools. It's un-American not to! After all, all problems can be solved by money . . . and the more money, the better the solution, of course! Besides, it's not "government spending." It's "investing," don't you know? You're getting a return on it.
A prime example of such wise stewardship and "investment" in education is where $65 million of New York City taxpayer money goes each year, according to a dispatch from the AP today:
Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that's what they want to do.
Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its "rubber rooms" — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.
The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year. ...
Because the teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 or more, the city Department of Education estimates the practice costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules. (Emphasis added.)
Now, if this is how government "invests" $65 million — through a bunch of unionized educrats — it's a negative return worse than the Great Wall Street Crash of 1929. No wonder the country is trillions in hock.
Seriously . . . we're not talking about investing anything, but rather paybacks to union political activists at the expense of the public good and treasury. To blow this off as a "big city, corrupt, New York thing" is to turn a blind eye to the devalued education system we have that fosters little competition and efficiency, much less quality education. It's a Virginia thing, too. It's become, frighteningly, a federal issue, as well, with its massive tentacles involved where they were once fiercely unwelcome. With the feds' "help" comes all sorts of regulations that breed more inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. So it affects all of us.
Now, when a politician talks about "more money for education" be sure he or she is aware of this New York travesty. Because one can never say "it doesn't happen here" — there is gross mismanagement wherever large sums of money is appropriated without competition and accountability — dare them to seek accountabilty and reform in Virginia, first, before throwing out hard-earned tax money at problems that need anything but money to be solved — and, in fact, cause far worse problems.