Monday, July 14, 2003

Property taxes and the cost of school systems. We started to expect too much from the schools in the nineteen-sixties. Legislatures passed requirements that have in effect made the schools responsible for far more than education, and the costs have skyrocketed. Then educators started padding schools with all sorts of ephemeral programs, all of which cost more and more, and parents began expecting and demanding more of the teachers and the school in terms of everything from extraneous subjects to babysitting functions. Most of the embellishments were programs which we all liked having for our children, but which if examined in the light of today's budgetary constraints would be found not crucial educationally.

Meanwhile property taxes are getting to the point of being riduculously out of control. When the property tax is almost what a years worth of house payments comes to we should take a look at our methods of schooling and funding for same.

In our state one could envision one school board at state level overseeing all the schools, yet getting this through the legislature and the people of the state would be impossible. Centralizing schools and budgets would certainly be a better way then the present local control of almost every school at intervals of twenty miles down each road, and all those school boards and sets of administrators. Food for thought.

The basic philosophy of education has also changed. Schools should not be tools of social change, school are historically there to provide the cultures they serve as conduits for those cultures and as sustaining forces from generation to generation. The mandate for change started in the sixties has been engrained in our educational system and in some cases seems to have stamped out the mandate for educating our children.

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