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Tom McClintock: To understand education budget, start with math
Los Angeles Daily News ^ | May 15, 2005 | Tom McClintock

Posted on 05/16/2005 2:24:48 PM PDT by calcowgirl

The multimillion-dollar campaign paid by starving teachers unions has finally placed our sadly neglected schools at the center of the budget debate.

Across California, children are bringing home notes warning of dire consequences if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's scorched-earth budget is approved -- a budget that slashes Proposition 98 public-school spending from $42.2 billion this year all the way down to $44.7 billion next year.

That should be proof enough that our math programs are suffering.

As a public-school parent, I have given this crisis a great deal of thought and have a modest suggestion to help weather these dark days.

Maybe -- as a temporary measure only -- we should spend our school dollars on our schools. I realize that this is a radical departure from current practice, but desperate times require desperate measures.

The governor proposed spending $10,084 per student from all sources. Devoting all of this money to the classroom would require turning tens of thousands of school bureaucrats, consultants, advisers and specialists onto the streets with no means of support or marketable job skills, something that no enlightened social democracy should allow.

So I will begin by excluding from this discussion the entire budget of the State Department of Education, as well as the pension system, debt service, special education, child care, nutrition programs and adult education. I also propose setting aside $3 billion to pay an additional 30,000 school bureaucrats $100,000 per year with the proviso that they stay away from the classroom and pay their own hotel bills at conferences.

This leaves a mere $6,937 per student, which, for the duration of the funding crisis, I propose devoting to the classroom.

To illustrate how we might scrape by at this subsistence level, let's use a hypothetical school of 180 students with only $1.2 million to get through the year.

We have all seen the pictures of filthy bathrooms, leaky roofs, peeling paint and crumbling plaster to which our children have been condemned. I propose that we rescue them from this squalor by leasing out luxury commercial office space. Our school will need 4,800 square feet for five classrooms (the sixth class is gym). At $33 per foot, an annual lease will cost $158,400.

This will provide executive washrooms, around-the-clock janitorial service, wall-to-wall carpeting, utilities and music in the elevators. We'll also need new desks to preserve the professional ambience.

Next, we'll need to hire five teachers, but not just any teachers. I propose hiring only associate professors from the California State University at their level of pay. Since university professors generally assign more reading, we'll need 12 of the latest edition, hardcover books for each student at an average $75 per book, plus an extra $5 to have the student's name engraved in gold leaf on the cover.

Since our conventional gym classes haven't stemmed the childhood obesity epidemic, I propose replacing them with an annual membership at a private health club for $39.95 per month. Finally, we'll hire an $80,000 administrator with a $40,000 secretary because, well, I don't know exactly why, but we always have.

Our bare-bones budget comes to this:

5 classrooms --                              $158,400
150 desks @ $130 --                           $19,500
180 annual health club memberships @ $480 --  $86,400
2,160 textbooks @ $80 --                     $172,800
5 CSU associate professors @ $67,093 --      $335,465
1 administrator --                            $80,000
1 secretary --                                $40,000
24 percent faculty and staff benefits --     $109,312
Offices, expenses and insurance --            $30,000
   TOTAL --                                  $1,031,877L 

The school I have just described is the school we're paying for. Maybe it's time to ask why it's not the school we're getting.

Other, wiser, governors have made the prudent decision not to ask such embarrassing questions of the education-industrial complex because it makes them very angry. Apparently the unions believe that with enough of a beating, Gov. Schwarzenegger will see things the same way.

Perhaps. But there's an old saying that you can't fill a broken bucket by pouring more water into it. Maybe it's time to fix the bucket.

Tom McClintock represents the 19th District in the California state Senate. Write to him by e-mail at tom.mcclintock@sen.ca.gov.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: budget; calbudget; california; education; mcclintock
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1 posted on 05/16/2005 2:24:49 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: A CA Guy; ALOHA RONNIE; ambrose; Amerigomag; AVNevis; B4Ranch; BillyBoy; Bonaparte; BurbankKarl; ...

McClintock Ping!

I'm going to bite the bullet here. I want to formalize a "McClintock Ping List." Up to now, anyone I have pinged has been on a totally involuntary basis.

Please let me know via freepmail if you want on or off this list.


2 posted on 05/16/2005 2:32:22 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl
Maybe it's time to fix the bucket.

Fix the bucket. Redistrict NOW. (And elect Tom Lt.Gov)

3 posted on 05/16/2005 2:33:29 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP ("The Republican Party is the France of politics" - Laz)
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To: calcowgirl

That is simply brilliant.


4 posted on 05/16/2005 2:34:41 PM PDT by AmericanChef
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To: calcowgirl

Tom McClintock for Lt. Governor in 2006:

http://www.tommcclintock.com/


5 posted on 05/16/2005 2:35:21 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Proud Member: Internet Pajama Wearers for Truth)
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To: calcowgirl

keep me on the list.

McClintock bump!


6 posted on 05/16/2005 2:35:33 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: calcowgirl

Cut out sex education and other liberal indoctrination programs and there'll be enough funds for english, science, math, history, social studies, art, music.


7 posted on 05/16/2005 2:36:04 PM PDT by Mulch (tm)
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To: calcowgirl

The system of government education in America today remains an utter failure. After 40 years of social engineering by liberals and the current crop of big government Republicans, only a miracle can turn things around.


8 posted on 05/16/2005 2:36:59 PM PDT by Reagan Man ("Don't let the bastards grind you down." General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell)
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To: calcowgirl

Very nice editorial. It's so darned reasonable - but perhaps California will embrace its vision anyway. I wish Texas would, too.


9 posted on 05/16/2005 2:37:20 PM PDT by Puddleglum (Thank God the Boston blowhard lost)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah

You got it!


10 posted on 05/16/2005 2:40:44 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl

Here is hoping that McClintock can continue to build his standing with sensible liberals and moderates in CA so that he can be our next governor.


11 posted on 05/16/2005 2:43:26 PM PDT by pogo101
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To: calcowgirl

They still teach math in schools in California?

I'm shocked to hear that! :-o


12 posted on 05/16/2005 2:43:48 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: calcowgirl

...but of course!


13 posted on 05/16/2005 2:45:55 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan
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To: calcowgirl


14 posted on 05/16/2005 2:48:13 PM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: calcowgirl

Outstanding


15 posted on 05/16/2005 2:48:20 PM PDT by TomasUSMC (FIGHT LIKE WW2, FINISH LIKE WW2. FIGHT LIKE NAM, FINISH LIKE NAM.)
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To: calcowgirl

BTTT


16 posted on 05/16/2005 2:52:10 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: calcowgirl

I'm not from CA, but I do love Tom McClintock... use your judgement.


17 posted on 05/16/2005 2:55:46 PM PDT by thoughtomator (A government-funded artist is an incompetent whore)
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To: calcowgirl
One local high school principal was bemoaning recently the fact that declining enrollment at his school meant they didn't receive as much ADA (average daily attendance) money from the Feds. The school's fund raising arm (a non profit foundation) has started a campaign to recoup that money from other sources.

I am amazed that no one seems to point out to them the obvious fact that it costs less to educate fewer students. All together now .... DUH!

18 posted on 05/16/2005 2:57:41 PM PDT by RightField (The older you get ... the older "old" is !)
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To: RightField

sheesh .... I forgot to mention that this is a California "distinguished" school.


19 posted on 05/16/2005 2:59:23 PM PDT by RightField (The older you get ... the older "old" is !)
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To: calcowgirl

DAMM~!~ THATS GOOD


20 posted on 05/16/2005 3:01:11 PM PDT by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: calcowgirl
I like your plan except for one thing. One of the newest grammar schools in my neighborhood has a small atrium and a glass elevator, you know, something like a Hyatt Regency. Be sure the commercial office space you propose to rent has this amenity. I simply don't see how the kids could have a quality learning experience without a glass elevator and atrium.
21 posted on 05/16/2005 3:03:18 PM PDT by RLM
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To: thoughtomator

I'll put you on for now--the posts are not frequent.
As his Atty General campaign begins, just let me know if want off the list.


22 posted on 05/16/2005 3:03:45 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: RLM

ROFL!


23 posted on 05/16/2005 3:05:32 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl
1 administrator -- $80,000
1 secretary -- $40,000

How does CA do it? Around here we have more non-teaching staff than we do classrooms or desks.

24 posted on 05/16/2005 3:07:15 PM PDT by spintreebob
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To: RLM

One local high school added a "World Languages" wing a couple of years back - 12 classrooms, I believe. Rather than a single building, however, they built 3 stand-alone square buildings, all in a row, with 4 classrooms each, 2 on each opposite side. Of course they had to build sidwalks between the buildings so the kids would walk around/through/whatever.


25 posted on 05/16/2005 3:12:01 PM PDT by RightField (The older you get ... the older "old" is !)
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To: RightField

sidwalks=sidewalks


26 posted on 05/16/2005 3:13:07 PM PDT by RightField (The older you get ... the older "old" is !)
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To: calcowgirl
Finally, we'll hire an $80,000 administrator with a $40,000 secretary because, well, I don't know exactly why, but we always have.

LOL That's actually cheap compared to here with admin costs....

27 posted on 05/16/2005 3:37:45 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan (Fire Stabenow in 2008)
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To: calcowgirl

I hope I'ma keeper!


28 posted on 05/16/2005 3:40:55 PM PDT by SierraWasp (The "Heritage Oaks" in the Sierra-Nevada Conservancy are full of parasitic GovernMental mistletoe!!!)
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To: calcowgirl
Perhaps. But there's an old saying that you can't fill a broken bucket by pouring more water into it. Maybe it's time to fix the bucket.

If you poor it in fast enough, you can. Of course, it doesn't stay full very long.

29 posted on 05/16/2005 3:41:58 PM PDT by nosofar
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To: SierraWasp

You're definitely a keeper!!! ... until you're put away in a home, of course. ;-)


30 posted on 05/16/2005 3:55:33 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: calcowgirl

Ping request.


32 posted on 05/16/2005 4:05:02 PM PDT by Jim 0216
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To: Jim 0216

Request Granted! :-)


33 posted on 05/16/2005 4:07:04 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: Dan from Michigan

"LOL That's actually cheap compared to here with admin costs...."

That's Tom's proposal!

The do nothing idiots that are currently on the payroll get a lot more.


34 posted on 05/16/2005 4:09:51 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: dalereed

When I was in high school 50+ years ago in a school of 1800+ students there were a total of 12 people that wern't teachers including the gardener.


35 posted on 05/16/2005 4:14:56 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: calcowgirl
"Across California, children are bringing home notes warning of dire consequences if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's scorched-earth budget is approved"

First, how does the union get the right to send notes home to anyone? Isn't this against the law on several levels?

Lastly, I think Tom makes some good points and I think what he says is worthy of discussion. I do believe his behavior during the last Gov. election does exclude him from any consideration for a job in Government where the people have to elect him. I think he betrayed us at our expense last election.

36 posted on 05/16/2005 4:15:29 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: calcowgirl

Keep me on.


37 posted on 05/16/2005 4:21:52 PM PDT by AVNevis (www.cahsconservative.blogspot.com Great Political Discussion from the eyes of a High School Student)
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To: A CA Guy
Tom made the point I think, that in real terms, we're spending the same this year as we've spent over the last few years for public education. The Governor hasn't cut education spending. He's a family man with school age kids. And yet he's portrayed as a monster for helping kids. With the public unions and the Democrats, you just can't win. That's why this phony debate is so sad, because we should be having a discussion over how we can use the dollars we spend more effectively. Then again for some people, that's never going to be quite enough.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
38 posted on 05/16/2005 4:22:37 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: spintreebob
"How does CA do it? Around here we have more non-teaching staff than we do classrooms or desks."

CA does it with U-N-I-O-N-S. The libs and media love it. The libs don't really want true education because the actual output of public schools is ignorant graduates who have been indoctrinated and brainwashed.
39 posted on 05/16/2005 4:23:09 PM PDT by Jim 0216
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To: goldstategop

I think Tom made a good point and the fact is that education got an increase under the current budget.

I also appreciate the topic and discussion brought to the table by Tom.

The teacher's union should be an object of focus by Republicans just as Judges are now just starting to be.

End the teacher's union IMO and public education would be better for it.


40 posted on 05/16/2005 4:25:48 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: calcowgirl
No Diversity Coordinator.

No "Health Department" to authorize abortions.

No one to administer recycling.

How can this be? Is this man mad? What's he trying to do - educate the kids or something? No, Mr. McClintock needs to back to the cave from where he came. (/sarcasm)
41 posted on 05/16/2005 4:34:36 PM PDT by BobL
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To: AVNevis

You got it!


42 posted on 05/16/2005 4:40:07 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: BobL
98% of school administrators should be fired and their positions eliminated.

Since they have no job skills and no one would hire them we would have to pay welfare but that's cheap compared to what we are paying the primidanas now.
43 posted on 05/16/2005 4:53:34 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: A CA Guy

Break up the big school districts and get rid of most of the administrators.


44 posted on 05/16/2005 5:03:13 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: dalereed

I didn't read your post before I posted mine. Oh well, we agree about getting rid of administrators.


45 posted on 05/16/2005 5:04:00 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: calcowgirl

Bump for later


46 posted on 05/16/2005 5:05:09 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: luckystarmom

Break up the current control of unions by law if we must and reduce administrators down to maybe 1 for every 40 teachers.
Also take away the power of the union to make it cost us 100k to fire a bad teacher.

The union only has the goal of growing, so they have been big for illegals in the schools because that means more teachers would be needed to educate them.

I think we need a change in the Constitution of the United States so that illegals are not due any free education, benefits of any kind nor should any get a birth certificate for their children born here unless they prove they were here legally at the time.


47 posted on 05/16/2005 5:08:17 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

It's not just the teacher's union. All of the school workers are unionized.

Our school parents wanted to paint our janitor's office last year as a gift for him, but there were union rules against that.

Our parents wanted to volunteer in the library when the district cut the librarians, but the union rules wouldn't allow that.

It's a joke.


48 posted on 05/16/2005 5:13:27 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: A CA Guy

Forgot to agree with you on the illegals. I have little patience with the whole illegal situation, and it is one area that I do not agree with our president on.


49 posted on 05/16/2005 5:14:42 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: calcowgirl

That's what the kids say... "Dadgummit, let's go over to the Nursing Home and watch Dad gummit!!!" (That's what they say when they're not thinking about gittin the ranch)


50 posted on 05/16/2005 5:35:24 PM PDT by SierraWasp (The "Heritage Oaks" in the Sierra-Nevada Conservancy are full of parasitic GovernMental mistletoe!!!)
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