Pay close attention to your "conservative" politicians who are now quietly talking out of both sides of their mouths. Many of those seeking to be in the next legislature are intimidated by the education industry and willing to tell them whatever will make them happy.
But I stand with the bold and courageous fiscal conservatives who believe public schools ought not spend more per pupil than the Catholic schools spend for a far better result. If the teachers are whining, they ought look no further than their own administration's spending explosion on things outside the classroom.
Let's mandate a state cap on non-classroom expenditures. For once I'd like to see superintendents at the capitol, whining that they have to run a small school district of 300 kids without any asst. superintendents, yet want to be paid the same salary as the governor.
Sadly, most conservatives completely ignore their local school board elections. Perhaps it's time to get the political parties involved and make them partisan elections?
I honestly believe most teachers want better cooperation with the parents. I also believe administrations really don't want the possibility of being held accountable to parents. Those who can't educate their own kids or don't have an affordable alternative to public education, really want the best teachers working with their kids. But the money needed to keep great teachers, never gets trickled down. The education bureaucrats need the teachers to stay hungry enough to keep picketing the capitol. Does it work? Of course! If Gov. Bill 'Alfalfa' Murray ever dreamed that public schools would take up over half of the state budget, he would have called a constitutional convention to forbid the abuse!
Just last week, Tulsa Public Schools announced huge salary increases to bureaucrats working at the administration building. But the classroom cuts announced last Winter will have to wait. Because the superintendent needs the teachers and parents to stay mad until election day!
- David Van Risseghem, Editor of SoonerPolitics.org