Sunday, February 22, 2004

It's for THE CHILDREN!!! Don't you UNDERSTAND???

I've been intentionally ignoring Rekha lately. Her column has not been particularly fun to read nor lampoon. However, her effort today deserves at least some passing scorn.

Here's her idea in a nutshell: We have to throw much more money at public education. The books are old. Teachers are spending their own money to provide supplies. Public education can AND MUST take over the job of the family to produce healthy, happy and productive Democrats... I mean adults.

Sound familiar? It's been the drum beat of the Des Moines Register editorial page for the last couple of months. We're slashing education!!! We're betraying our kids! Come on now... we're not suggesting talking about raising taxes. Oh, no... we're talking about "revenue enhancements" and "eliminating loopholes".

Crisis! Destruction! Mayhem!!! Warning Will Robinson!!!!!!

Okay, if you want the numbers, go here. Dr. Hogberg has them, and I'm sure that you'll be shocked, SHOCKED to discover that the state has raised education funding over 17% over the last 6 years during a period of declining enrollment.

Public education has become another liberal fetish, a talisman that they hold up to keep big, bad reactionaries like me at bay. It's kind of like the hero in a 1950's vampire movie holding up a crucifix. It's supposed to work. The evil, old vampire shrinks away with a painful howl.

"Get back you blood sucking fiend! It's for the CHILDREN!!!"

Look, as long as government continues to attempt to take on responsibilities for people's children (RAISING, not EDUCATING) that can only be effectively done by family and friends, reducing State education budget INCREASES will be impossible, let alone real cuts.

This is a money pit that government will never fill. We build demand with every program. The more that we provide relief from the slings and arrows of raising children, the more parents will abdicate responsibility. It's just... that... simple.

It's like trying to control government health care expenditures while simultaneously providing old folks with unlimited medical procedures. What the hell... let's fund a total hip replacement for a 95 year old women with multiple systemic illnesses and senile dementia. The family wants it. Hell, it don't cost nuthin'. The physician is afraid to deny the procedure for fear of a lawsuit. But, you know... the problem is really the pharmaceutical and insurance agencies.

Yeah... right.

So, I've had my rant. Do I have any suggestions? Well... I have one.

Eliminate every ESL (English as a Second Language) program and instructor in the state. ESL does not work. What do we do when we want middle class kids to learn a foreign language? Anybody...? Bueller? Bueller?

We put them into an IMMERSION PROGRAM. You don't keep nursing them along in their native tongue and worrying about their precious self esteem.

Learn the language first. Without it, you will fail. We have demanded this from every previous group of immigrants and IT WORKS. It worked for me... in reverse. I moved to Puerto Rico at the age of 15 with almost no Spanish language skills. I was immersed... big time. It was sink or swim. I swam... and became bilingual.

I didn't have a choice. And that is indeed the point. Give people a benefits machine... give them the option to not do for themselves, and we end... up... right...

HERE -- in a state that has increased education spending more than 17% over the last 6 years in a period of decreasing enrollment and low inflation with Liberals howling about how we are abandoning our children.

Well, they are right about that. Many of us HAVE abandoned our kids. And we foolishly expect society through the public education machine to pick up the slack.


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