Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Education is a choice, highway systems and defense contracts are a force.

image from caltech.edu

Today was election day in Wisconsin. A referendum for learning was on my local ballot. Oshkosh area school district has one of the lowest amounts of spending in the state, and thanks to Scott Walker's wild decisions during his first 100 days, the area is unable to raise spending without voter approval.

Note, there is not a cap on the actual amount districts spend. So districts that were already spending top dollar can stay at that range. Districts like mine, that were spending frugally, have to continue spending frugally. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? No?

Anyway, two years ago we had to vote for an old run down elementary building to be torn down and rebuilt. This year we are voting to keep art and PE in elementary and to invest in technology at all levels. I imagine every few years we'll have to vote on something.

I also imagine it will always pass. The new elementary school won with something like 54%; today's referendum won with 60% of the votes. People vote yes when it comes to spending money on education, on children.

You know what I would not have voted yes on? I would not have voted yes on many of the transportation projects our area and our state are pouring billions of dollars into. Not surprisingly, the WDOT budget doesn't need voter approval. It can balloon and balloon all it wants. Likewise, the Justice budget doesn't need voter approval.

I do not think this is coincidental. Leaders in each party love offering huge defense, infrastructure, and safety contracts to their buddies and campaign donors. There is no way they'd let the public have a say on those spendy projects. Education though? The most basic, most fundamental, part of a communities infrastructure ... well if the people want to pay for that make 'em fight it out and take it to the polls.

Am I the only one bothered by all this? 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad people in Wisconsin People "vote yes when it comes to spending money on education, on children." Not always true in Utah. Spending money on education is not a Republican priority.

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