NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

More Info on SB390 "Classrooms First"
Spending more money in Georgia classrooms sounds good, right? Sounds like a good Democrat type of proposal right?

Look a little further. A group called First Class Education is shopping this same legislation in over 20 states. The Austin American Statesman first uncovered a memo written by First Class Education explaining the real motives behind the legislation. This memo is now all over the internet, and reveals that the initiative has little to nothing to do with providing a first class education to our kids by spending more in classrooms. Here's a clip from the original AAS article (linked in full above).

"A First Class Education memo obtained by the Austin American-Statesman lists a series of "political benefits" of putting the 65 percent plan on the ballot. The memo says the plan will create divisions within education unions as dollars flow from administrators to teachers, and it says the plan will divert dollars away from other political goals of the "education establishment."
Citing voter trends, it also says the plan can help build support for voucher and charter school proposals, which critics say take money away from public schools."

SB 390 has already passed the Senate and is headed to committee on the House side. It is so frustrating that school children in Georgia are being used as pawns in this initiative to turn voters nationwide against a core American value of quality public education for every single child.
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posted by Emily at 2/11/2006 11:55:00 AM


Blogger ATL Bling Bling said...

Hmm. This article left me unconvinced. Just because something is a republican idea, supported by conservatives, doesn't mean its a bad one.

Can you give any more reasons why this might pose a problem - besides creating conflict between administrators and teachers? One I can think of is that it might make programs like national standards testing and NCLB much more difficult - those incur heavy administrative costs.

But I think that the main value a school provides occurs in the classroom, not anywhere else. 65% on the face of it sounds like a good rule.

2/14/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous True Believer said...

I think it's a bad idea because the percentage (65%) has been pulled out of thin air. Why not set a target of 70%? Or 90%? Or, for that matter, 50%? In any case the number that really matters here is the absolute dollar amount being spent on each student, not the relative proportion. 65% of not enough is still not enough.

Another reason it's a bad idea is because schools have many expenses outside the classroom- for example, school buses, nurses, libraries, computer labs, the principal, and so on. The cost of these things, as well as the cost of hiring teachers, is likely to vary significantly from school to school. How on earth could the legislature come up with a sensible spending ratio that perfectly fits so many different schools?

Then there are the costs to schools to prove they are complying with the regulations, and costs to the state for monitoring compliance. Where is the money to pay for that going to come from? These costs can be significant- look at how much Sarbanes-Oxley has cost.

You don't need a secret memo to see that this bill is misguided, and is going to create unneccesary friction and expense.

2/18/2006 05:29:00 PM  

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