My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


What Are The Odds?

That both Denver dailies come out on the same day against the same piece of legislation? But that's exactly what's happened today, with respect to the 65% solution.

The Post: Conservatives used to embrace the value of local control, but Gov. Bill Owens this week became the 100,000th signature on a petition that would put an ill-advised question before voters in November: Should schools spend 65 percent of their money on classroom instruction?

It sounds like an easy answer. Who wants to see tax money wasted on bloated administrative costs? But dig a little deeper and it's easy to see this proposal for what it is: a campaign slogan for Republican lawmakers who want to appear pro-education.

The News: An initiative likely to make the ballot in November would require school districts to spend at least 65 percent of their operating expenditures on classroom instruction.

We're not certain whether a law like that would be good public policy. That's a discussion we'd be willing to have. But making it a constitutional mandate? That's a recipe for disaster.


Personally, I think the 65 percent solution is better politics than policy, as the Post hints at. But I also think that there is an element of precise rhetoric, which is often clarifying. That is to say, that I think when numbers are attached, and specificity of allocation is on the table, it has a way of shuffling some of the garbage off to the side.

And if there's one thing the education debates could do with, it's more shuffling of garbage off to the side.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?