Somehow the goal of giving children the useful information and mental discipline necessary to learning from life has been morphed into the institutionalized incarceration of youth. In our debt-driven economy it is now necessary for most adults to work in order to meet the ever-increasing costs of living. Schools allow women to leave home for the wages while the little ones are herded together by age, for 14 years of state-paid babysitting and custodial oversight. If, in the process, they can be regimented into willing workers, so much the better.
The educational costs of operating this vast network of concentration campuses far exceed the funds devoted to learning in any meaningful definition. At last look, something north of 70 cents of every education dollar went for administration, maintenance and utilities. You got to have hot showers for the afterschool sports and feeding the inmates. That is before paying teachers their piddling pittance or buying books and class supplies (bring your own paper and pencils).
But all that aside, the schools are doomed anyway in the face of the impending budget disasters in nearly every state of the union. When the financial crash of ’09 threatened to overwhelm our entire economy, the government decided to print money enough to spend on creating jobs. After bailing out the banks to make sure wage slaves would have somewhere to cash their paychecks and pay their bills, Congress created the “stimulus package,” promising it would create jobs in shovel-ready projects and infrastructure repairs. Unfortunately, the states, strapped for funds from their own economic failings and pressured politically by the powerful teachers’ unions, chose to spend much of the stimulus money to “save the teachers” from layoffs dictated by the meat axe approach to budget cutting. This decision failed to produce any new jobs, thereby undermining the stimulus and setting the stage for a yet worse conflict when the stimulus program runs out and its extension demands new employment rather than featherbedding of teachers, police and firefighters.
When that happens next year, school cutbacks will savage the ranks of non-tenured teachers, cut the school year by a fortnight and increase class sizes beyond their already unmanageable count. In short, the schools are about to self-destruct. Any parent who hopes their children will become “educated” had better get them out of the collapsing public system and into Internet-linked homeschooling and accept the concept that child rearing is your full time job for at least a decade or two and teaching is part of the skill set. If education is the goal, school is a drag!
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.