Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Tom McClintock's "A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools"
Tom McClintock.com | State Senator Tom McClintock

Posted on 06/08/2005 4:46:51 PM PDT by Remember_Salamis

A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools

By Senator Tom McClintock

The multi-million 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. 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, advisors 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 (roughly the population of Monterey) 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 ambiance.

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. This would provide our children with a trained and courteous staff of nutrition and fitness counselors, aerobics classes and the latest in cardiovascular training technology.

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 C.S.U. Associate Professors @ $67,093 $335,465

1 Administrator $80,000

1 Secretary $40,000

24% faculty and staff benefits $109,312

Ofice, expenses and insurance $30,000

TOTAL $1,031,877

This budget leaves a razor-thin reserve of just $216,703 or $1,204 per pupil, which can pay for necessities like paper, pencils, personal computers and extra-curricular travel. After all, what's the point of taking four years of French if you can't see Paris in the spring?

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Political Humor/Cartoons; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: california; education; mcclintock; pspl; schools

1 posted on 06/08/2005 4:46:52 PM PDT by Remember_Salamis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

bump


2 posted on 06/08/2005 4:48:26 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis; Born Conservative

Nicely written and well said.

http://www.neoperspectives.com/charterschoolsexplained.htm

On Charter schools that would alleviate this problem.


3 posted on 06/08/2005 4:53:06 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/charterschoolsexplained.htm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis
[5 classrooms $158,400
150 Desks @ $130 $19,500
180 annual health club memberships @ $480 $86,400
2,160 textbooks @ $80 $172,800
5 C.S.U. Associate Professors @ $67,093 $335,465
1 Administrator $80,000
1 Secretary $40,000
24% faculty and staff benefits $109,312
Office, expenses and insurance $30,000
TOTAL $1,031,877]

Embarrassing the government bureaucracy with satire: PRICELESS
4 posted on 06/08/2005 4:55:14 PM PDT by spinestein
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

Rep. McClintock has hit this problem right on the head.


5 posted on 06/08/2005 4:56:26 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (This tagline is temporarily closed for re-modeling)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

Ain't it the freakin' truth.
And people wonder why California's education system, under LIBERAL SOCIALIST government over the past three decades, has gone from top in the country to the bottom (only one state is worse)...and absolute horror for our students and their futures and a blazing testimony to the wretched impact of socialist government and union-dominated administration of our schools. I have lived in California all of my life, and have watched the entire spectacle, from conservative domination and outstanding performance, through a sickening evolution of liberal disaster and politics, to what we have now.

California was once a state to be proud of. It no longer is.


6 posted on 06/08/2005 4:58:15 PM PDT by EagleUSA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

Ping to print for my household CTA member/wife later.


7 posted on 06/08/2005 4:59:57 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis
"A Modest Proposal for Saving Our School Children"

Home School!
8 posted on 06/08/2005 5:02:53 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dcam

ping


9 posted on 06/08/2005 5:09:02 PM PDT by rivercat (Welcome to California. Now go home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis
"A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools"

I was expecting the "Modest Proposal" to be a little more Swiftian. I was looking for a recipe for Assistant Principal fricassee.

10 posted on 06/08/2005 5:11:05 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Republicans and Democrats no longer exist. There are only Fabian and revolutionary socialists.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

It's too bad this man wasn't in movies; he'd be governor.


11 posted on 06/08/2005 5:13:36 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rightwing Conspiratr1
It's too bad this man wasn't in movies; he'd be governor.

Seriously, that is so funny and so very sad.

12 posted on 06/08/2005 5:16:36 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: kellynla
"A Modest Proposal for Saving Our School Children" Home School!

That'd be "a more modest proposal"...cut checks for 10K per child and/or reduce said amount from taxes to every parent who wants to home school.

13 posted on 06/08/2005 5:22:20 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kenth; CatoRenasci; Marie; PureSolace; Congressman Billybob; P.O.E.; cupcakes; Amelia; Dianna; ...

14 posted on 06/08/2005 5:26:25 PM PDT by Born Conservative ("If not us, who? And if not now, when? - Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis
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.

Actually, the Dems WOULD have the testicular fortitude to call this a budget cut.

15 posted on 06/08/2005 5:30:30 PM PDT by Born Conservative ("If not us, who? And if not now, when? - Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spinestein
Embarrassing the government bureaucracy with satire: PRICELESS

Of course it will be lost on them, because they all attended public schools...

16 posted on 06/08/2005 7:23:53 PM PDT by No Longer Free State (As the Arabic saying has it: The caravan will continue its journey even if the wolves howl along the)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: No Longer Free State

LOL!


17 posted on 06/08/2005 9:11:56 PM PDT by spinestein
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Born Conservative
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.

I loved this statement as well. The entire thing was well-written and hilarious. More money is definitely not the answer to the public school failures. Personally, I think the lack of parenting these days is part of the problem and not something that can be remedied. With parents involved and demanding success, some public schools can succeed.

I just got back from my son's 8th grade graduation (yes, I know, it was part of the touchy-feely crap most public schools have today. In fact, in one of the speeches an 8th grade girl said that she at one time thought 8th grade graduation was more of celebrating mediocrity). BUT, the good part is it was amazing that 33% of the students had a 3.5 or over GPA, along with numerous other awards such as membership in junior scholarship societies, honor band or choir, student council, state science fair, etc. 68% had 3.0 or over. Peer pressure works well when it's for the right outcome.

I attribute the school's success to the parents there, not the teachers nor the money spent. The superintendent got a huge round of applause for telling the students that they owe their way of life and their opportunities to the veterans who have served our country. We live in a very conservative town and in a very expensive area - people are coming to our house asking if we'll sell because they want to live in our school district. But it's not the money that makes the difference, it's the parents. But I do think there is a direct correlation between family income and/or parent education and their child's motivation to succeed as well.

With Tom's analysis - it's still a ridiculous amount of money per student, no matter what the outcome. Less may give us more. Tom's an awesome man - he was the only candidate in the gubernatorial debate that didn't clinch in answering the illegal immigration question either.
18 posted on 06/08/2005 10:17:39 PM PDT by Serenissima Venezia (Hoping to be a California Vigil Antie for the Minuteman Project)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis
We are already paying for excellent schools. Time for the unions and the bureaucrats to explain why we aren't getting them.
19 posted on 06/08/2005 10:23:44 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

This article should be spread around. It's excellent.


20 posted on 06/09/2005 3:36:04 AM PDT by planekT (Go DeLay, Go!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Serenissima Venezia
Personally, I think the lack of parenting these days is part of the problem and not something that can be remedied. With parents involved and demanding success, some public schools can succeed.

Many teachers would agree with you.

21 posted on 06/09/2005 5:22:19 AM PDT by Amelia (Common sense isn't particularly common.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Remember_Salamis

oh my gosh--this is brilliant...


22 posted on 06/09/2005 9:23:17 AM PDT by latina4dubya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson