Framing the Dialogue

Spending Gap Widens

midvaleI was enjoying the paper this morning when a headline caught my eye from which the title of this blog post was taken.  The columnist is certainly left-leaning, but every once in a while she gets it.  Unfortunately today was not her day.  The article was a lamenting drone about how unfair the education systems is in Pennsylvania.  Here are some of the gems in this tome;

“It seems a little off that where you live can determine the type of education you receive.  But that’s the way things are in Pennsylvania right now.”

“the per-student spending gap between poor and rich school districts is wider than in any other state.”

“Think about that for a second.  Over the years, the solution to the money problem hasn’t largely been addressed by asking how to infuse more money into schools.  It’s been addressed by asking, ‘What can our kids do without?”

“So no, money is not the complete answer here.  But more of it is a start.”

The article used some information about the City of Pittsburgh schools and how poor-performing they continue to be.  You could certainly expand this to most any large, urban school district.  The author and others are very pleased that Pennsylvania’s new governor had pledged to raise taxes and give more money to school and based on his first budget he certainly hopes to keep his first promise and raise taxes.  There may even be some to give to schools.

I am really disappointed that a right-leaning newspaper would allow this drivel and clichéd article to grace its pages.  Actually the “facts” used are lies.   It took me only a few minutes to figure out which were the top performing school districts were in Pennsylvania and to determine that they spend around $13,000 per student and then determine some of the worst performing schools which is the category where Pittsburgh SD resides.  The Pittsburgh SD spends well over $22,000 per student.  This simple, easily discoverable fact puts the lie to the article.  Perhaps money can help, but the problems with education go far beyond plopping more and more tax dollars to failing institutions.  Again my disappointment is deep.  I expect more from a “news” paper and I didn’t get it.

I had a lot more thoughts to share, but I’m going to do what the “professional” writers do and leave you with a thought…

I don’t know who said this, but it rings very true.  This person once said that he had wished he’d asked Ted Kennedy thirty years ago how much money he needed to fix education and then would have given it to him.  We’ve certainly have spent a lot more for a lot less since then.  And it will never end as the question ALWAYS becomes; “Don’t you want a good education for our children?”

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