Hmmm! I would guess nobody is surprised about that. We seem to draw more than our share of attention down in these parts.
But I’m seeing three interesting things:
- We passed a property tax reform bill with the support of our governor. Though I generally like Governor Crist, I voted against it, because I agreed with analyses that showed we would be having revenue problems for things like schools.
- For some silly reason our county school board is trying to figure out how many teachers they’ll have to let go next year. Yes, they’re cutting administrative staff as well, though mostly staff that supports the teachers.
- Our legislature is busy with such likely activities as a so-called Academic Freedom bill for our high school teachers. I’m sure this is only taking up a small amount of legislative time, considering the silly wording of some of the bills and proposed amendments, but I’d suggest that any time spent on this is wasted.
Why do I connect these things? No, the time factor isn’t it. I doubt if the legislators took the time they’ve devoted to this “academic freedom” debate and worked on educational funding, they’d solve much of anything. The connection is that these legislators are busy pandering to the stupid and selfish side of the voters. The property tax bill passed because it would reduce the property taxes of enough people, and because the old system was so bad. But nobody wanted to admit what just about everybody knew–our schools would be paying for it afterward.
It doesn’t bother the folks in Tallahassee that cuts are being made, because it’s local school board officials who have to try to figure out how to live with it.
Some folks dislike teaching evolution, so the legislators again pretend to be doing something, in this case largely throwing the responsibility onto individual teachers, who would be policed by the courts. Can you say “lawsuit?” Alternatively some versions would make the school boards responsible for something that should have been settled by the curriculum drafters. The curriculum drafters did an excellent job, but some legislators want to pretend to solve the voters problems.
Until we demand that our politicians at all levels tell it like it is, we’re going to see much of our time wasted on this type of activity. When a politician says he can make something work, but he’s not going to have to pay for it in some other way, he’s lying. Everything costs. You have to make sure you’re willing to pay those costs.