Thursday, February 19, 2015


                                      Albert Einstein

     My high school Government teacher became my State Representative.  I thought it would be neat to run against him as the free publicity of the student running against the teacher would be great.  I never did.  But I did ask him, as I have asked other Representatives, if it is a requirement that it is required to leave their brains behind in a fruit jar on the porch when they went to Topeka.  Everyone agreed that it seemed like it.
     Having gone through 11 years of public school and 2 years of parochial, I have had a great variety of teachers.  Some inspirational that still have an effect on me today.  Then there were others that fulfilled the old saying "those that can do, and those that can't teach."
     Being that I am not inclined to understand union mentalities and that teacher unions are lopsided on protecting the teacher at all costs, I find that the constant direction of the schools disturbing.  The original formula used today to distribute state funds for education was originally to take the perceived excess of the districts in Southwest Kansas gas fields.  Then dole it out to the "poorer" districts in the state.  Sounds eerily like take from the rich and redistribute.
      The state ends up sending over half of it's annual budget to schools and the schools in return spend some of it on court cases to get more.  Justified or not that is up for you to decide.  I wonder how many kids would have been paid for by all those court cases.  The law profession is of course happy to 'right the wrongs'.  Just send the check.
      School Boards have been a constant source of amazement to me my entire life.  Many members are there to make sure their little darlings get through without being expelled or to keep them on the varsity squad.
     The spending priorities have always confused me since we have gone from spending around $1500 per pupil when I was in school to near $6400 today.  What the money is spent on from the state is supplemented by a mil levy for infrastructure and constant applying for grants and other resources.
     Yet I see new schools being built that are the delight of an architectural students dream instead of practical easy to maintain buildings.  One school board spent $500,000 on a new Astro Turf football field when they had one of the best maintained fields in the state.  Oh, then there was the oversight that they had to spend $100,000 for the machine to clean it.  Life expectancy of the field is 10 years.
      District after district is so happy to spend six figure incomes for superintendents with DR. on their name that they could have funded a couple teaching positions for getting a proven competent administrator without the fancy title.  Also there are districts that are too small and should work together with many things including administration.
      There is the one district that shut down one school that was run with a Head Teacher and not a principal, partially because the building was old.  Yet that school had a better scoring average than the other 4 schools in their district.  They lost funding for 80 kids when it opened as a parochial school.
      The sad truth to the story is that the home schooler's have been achieving higher scores on the ACT tests than the public schooler's in Kansas.  Now the biggest attraction to home schooling is that the 'socialization' that everyone is worried about them missing out on is a non issue.  These students are avoiding bullying, drug pushing, and sex indoctrination starting in the second grade.  They also get to keep God in their education.
      I don't pretend to know what the Governor is doing and the Legislature.  I never have understood the priority that a school board gives to sports and not music.  I do know that to watch the reporters asking the questions of students, and the complete ignorance that is laughed at as comedy on TV is disturbing.
     It is sad that the curriculums to teach living have been done away with and special programs have to be created to do simple things to fit students to become workers.  Everyone is pushed to go to college yet it is not the college grad that is fixing their broken down stuff and doing jobs that you don't want to do.
     It is said that in the next ten years with the advancement of technology that 50% of the jobs as we know it will be gone.  Todays kids need to be taught flexibility and ability to learn.  Not what is determined to be the party line.
     I don't agree with consolidation as it has been done in the past.  Too many communities have been ruined losing their schools.  Since the 8th grade test given in the time of the one room school house could not be passed by most students today, it is not size that is the limiting factor.  In fact the smaller size and individual attention is recognized as being better.  Yet we still want to warehouse kids together and then bus them large distances to do any activities.  And any other activities, other than sports, are canceled. 

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