Sunday, September 11, 2005

Back to school rant

My kid is officially back to school, and while I'm not in school, I've been so swamped with my own growing set of minor workerbee functions that I must apologize for disappearing. I do laundry at 2AM and get a few hours sleep each night.

Glad to say this year, there is an all-out push to educate parents at our school about connecting one set of dots, namely to address the disconnect between the quality of our kids' education and $$$$$$$$. This means pointing out the connection between money and certain programs and services. If we have no money, whoops, we have no services. Sorry, parents, it's time to take away the blanket of ignorance, and I know ignorance has been bliss.

It seems parent education about school funding, both micro and macro, doesn't happen in any organized way except by the savvy conservatives. In this case, their well-funded media megaphone amplifies way too many myths and legends.

I think we are seeing this in CA where too many I know bash unions, with the premise that unions are too powerful, too selfish and greedy. I know unions are far from perfect but they are one of the few organized groups fighting corporate interests, which just happen to be powerful, selfish, and greedy. My opinion, of course, and, strange, I don't really hear much corporate bashing. Other heart-stopping comments from parents: CA spends too much on education, the money is not spent efficiently, there's too much money in bureaucracy, teachers buy supplies for the classroom out of the goodness of their hearts (this one was a new one).

I'd like to see education about school funding as an agenda item by progressives nationally. Information about public education has been left too long in the hands of conservatives. Of course, the larger issues are huge: poverty, funding education equitably, so on.

Phew. End of rant, I'm off the soapbox.