On tomorrow night’s show (FBN @ 9pm ET), it’s the Kids vs the Bureaucrats. Education in America is a mess, so we hear a lot about “reform.” But an entrenched bureaucracy and militant unions fight the very competition that would improve schools. Improve them for kids, that is.
I’ll talk to Michelle Rhee, the head of the terrible DC public school system. She’s been called “the terminator,” “the hammer,” and “the dragon lady,” because she dared to fire bad teachers – and reward good teachers. This needed to be done, but it isn’t popular. Last night’s election results suggest that she will soon lose her job.
The teachers unions and the education establishment have their own recipe for “reform” … more money. As I write in this week’s syndicated column:
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently claimed: "Districts around the country have literally been cutting for five, six, seven years in a row. And, many of them, you know, are through, you know, fat, through flesh and into bone ... ."
Really? They cut spending five to seven consecutive years?
Give me a break!
Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, writes that out of 14,000 school districts in the United States, just seven have cut their budgets seven years in a row. How about five years in a row? Just 87. That's a fraction of 1 percent in each case.
Duncan may be pandering to his constituency, or he may actually be fooled by how school districts (and other government agencies) talk about budget cuts.
…"They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year's spending," Coulson writes. "What they're doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having."
So if a district got more money than last year but less than it asked for, the administrators consider it a cut.
Full column here.