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Monday, January 2, 2012

Do Schools Really Need to Cost So Much?

"As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled." - Victor Hugo
Many communities are wealthy enough not to concern themselves with duplication of services. Public schools, community centers, service organizations, and community colleges offer essentially the same activities - often competing with each other, jealously guarding their own prerogatives to stamp their brand name on offerings to an oversupplied market. High schools offer courses in calculus, astrophysics, or jewelry making, competing with the local community college or community center for the same "customers." The reality is that school systems are expected to do many more things than teaching students subject matter, and these things cost money.

Maybe it's time for someone to speak up and say, "If you want our system to run a farm system for the professional football leagues, then you're going to have to pay extra for it and not expect us to do it under the cover of 'physical education.'"

Perhaps it is time to tell parents that their tax dollars will be used to enhance classroom learning; that if they want to play status games with their neighbors by having their children compete for entrance into "prestige" universities, the local schools are not going to spend money on special AP courses for that purpose.

To examine these issues further, see Cutting Public School Costs . . . Intelligently. Can It Be Done?

Cordially,
-- EGR