Monday, February 07, 2005

Fixing the Education Budget at Starbucks

The usual suspects were gathered at Starbucks last Sunday gabbing about politics and popular culture – the young white man in the corner wearing a sign proclaiming “F White Power” – when in walked Kelly Johnson, the Principal at Peninsula High. Our common friend Cathryn Boyd introduced me as the conservative guy with unusual opinions about the education budget. Kelly smiled: “Oh, you’re the right winger,” he said, “I’ve heard about you.”

I fessed up and explained my neoconservative position on the education budget: Give all the K-12 teachers a 10% pay raise. (Actually, I prefer 0 – 20% based on merit.) A recent study by the Claremont Institute notes that the $45 Billion that California spends on K-12 education employs 304 thousand teachers plus 273 thousand administrators and others (ie. bureaucracy). A 30% cut in the bureaucracy (mostly at the district and state levels) would save $1.2 Billion/year while at the same time enabling pay raises of 10.7% for teachers, aides, counselors, nurses, librarians, even principals, plus a 92% increase in the spending on books and supplies.

I wondered if the students would even miss the missing bureaucrats, and am willing to bet that the teachers would be more effective with less oversight. When Kelly departed I had the sense that Mr. Right and Mr. Left had found some common ground.


Blogger Ralph said...

So what did the principal say about your proposal?

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, Bill, what did he say?

9:05 AM  

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