The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Mar 4, 2009

When $2.3 BILLION Isn't Enough

$2.3 BILLION... $2.3 BILLION that's what the state of New Mexico spends each year on education - at least that's what Representative Mimi Stewart asserts in her letter to the editor in Wednesday's Journal. Of course, Representative Stewart doesn't come right out and say how much we actually spend rather - she claims that we need 14.5% or $335 MILLION more in order to provide a "sufficient" education.
The public expressed concerns about adequate funding for rural schools, for non-tested subjects (like music, art and physical education), for native language and heritage. The public also emphasized that local school boards make decisions about local schools.

Educators called for a longer school year; more support staff to help at-risk students; lower staff-pupil ratios; and programs geared toward retention of native languages and cultures.
We'd love to actually see AIR's study. It's really hard to believe that little things like reading, writing, and arithmetic weren't found in the responses, yet "native language and heritage" were. What people value in education is different from group to group and person to person. Public schools are not equipped - nor can they be equipped - to be all things to all people.

One person's "sufficient" education is another's woefully inadequate education. Relative terms like "sufficient" are meaningless since they don't have objective definitions. They are however, useful when attempting to make an argument for expanded funding for programs that already receive some 38% of the state's annual budget - especially during an economic crisis.
[The American Legislative Council's] recent study, the 15th edition of their "Report Card on American Education," shows that New Mexico's K-12 government-run education system is not only behind other states, but is falling further behind as time passes. According to the New Mexico-specific pages of the study which can be found here, The Land of Enchantment has fallen from 43rd to 48th since 1998 in ALEC's overall ranking. This, despite a more rapid increase in per-pupil spending than was found in other states (42% to 36.6%). Of course, this has not deterred New Mexico's educational establishment from demanding still more money to pour down this rat hole.
According to Stewart, $335 MILLION dollars would provide a "sufficient" education for our children. Forget for a moment that we've already got a $500 MILLION budget shortfall. The Albuquerque representative would have us pour more money into a failing system.

For years we've been pouring BILLIONS of dollars into education. For years it seems that New Mexico has ranked near the bottom in education when compared to other states. We don't need to spend more money on education. We need to spend the $2.3 BILLION we already spend annually more effectively.

The easiest way to make education more efficient is to introduce competition. Yes, that means school choice... that means vouchers or something similar. Competition encourages excellence and punishes mediocrity. Monopolies that have access to virtually unlimited funding, promote mediocrity or worse. Our current public school system is nothing short of an education monopoly insuring that no matter how much we spend - $2.3 BILLION, $2.6 BILLION, $5 BILLION, or even $10 BILLION - that it will never be "sufficient."


Anonymous said...

Eye, it's not just convicted DWI felon and APS employee Mimi Stewart who is the problem. It's County Commissioner Alan Armijo and City Councilor Brad Winter and other elected officials on the APS payroll who vote on APS issues.

Without any sense of ethics Stewart, Armijo and Winter vote to send millions and billions of dollars to their employer APS.

If we really want to help the children, we need to rescue them from the corrupt and inept bureaucracy of APS. The only way to do that is through competition.

The question is, can doing something that really matters for the children actually happen in New Mexico?

Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

gotta pay for the buerocrats!

Anonymous said...

There is a great book published a few years ago entitled "Education Myths" by Jay Greene, the former education commissioner for the state of Arkansas. He points out that K - 12 public education expenditures have doubled, on an inflation adjusted basis, over the past 30 years in the U.S. but that test scores have NOT improved. I suspect that N.M. mirrors the national figures.

Anonymous said...

Too much administration, not enough folks actually teaching.
Plus I am soooooo sick and tired of hearing how $40K a year is not a good salary for someone who works 9 months.

Anonymous said...

Go Education Vouchers? We should all, no matter our money situation, be able to send our kids to the school(s) of our choice.

Also $335 mil is a drop in the scam bucket. Isn't that about what we're paying for our UNM Pres.

So how many pencils will $335 mil pay for?? What a fricking joke!

Anonymous said...

APS is a joke! Incompetant Administrators, Incompetant Athletic Directors, Teachers that don't give a damn about students! Let the state or federal government ake APS can't get any worse!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mimi Stewart uses taxpayer money to hide her criminal DWI record (not found in via special legislative appropriated funds directed to NM courts & other favors by helping those who help her. How is that different from any other corrupt public official? I don't think so. Billions of dollars spent is just a symptom and yet voters in her area (district 21) continue to be in the dark. How sad...