Friday, June 30, 2006

65% Solution

Conservatives and Democrats alike came out this week to blast Ken Blackwell's education plan, dubbed the 65% solution which dictates that schools spend 65% of their budget on classroom instruction. This idea comes from studies which shows schools spending that amount fare better than those who don't. No kidding.

The problem is that only the most affluent school districts can afford to realistically achieve that level of spending. Indeed, in Columbus only Bexley meets this level and that is one of the most economically advantaged school districts in the state.

It's just simple economics. When you have a poorer district things like heat and electricity are just a larger portion of your budget. Are we going to ask children in poorer districts to bring a candle and a jacket to class?

A lot of this type of thinking comes from the baffling belief conservatives have that there is this excessive amount of administrative overhead in public school systems. The facts just don't support that, most of this overhead is much needed, and I'm sure to conservatives dismay, more is going to be needed in an increasingly complex world. Think about it, did the school you attended need an IT department?

I think conservatives have watched a little too much Little House On The Prairie.

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