Thursday, March 24, 2005

Guest Opinion submitted by Bob Graham Sr. 3/27/05 Happy Easter!

Public Schooling benefits the poor, right? That’s the best reason, we are told, to support with more tax money every year, outrageous union teacher salaries, more teachers with more degrees, smaller classes, (needs more teachers,) and bigger buildings. Public schools benefit the rich who have managed to get the middle and lower closes to pay for the high cost of public schools. We have been deceived by the government and the public school system. Here’s proof.

Practically every edition of the Courier caries numerous pro- public school “reports.” The source of the reports are not the random observation of reporters. The union teachers and administrators call the newspapers and tell them about (carefully planned) “events.” These are practically scripted news sessions. That’s why a Courier photographer frequently shows up with the reporter to capture in living color the latest feel good public school “event.”

Take the “choir trips” of certain Council Rock students. The March 23rd edition of the Courier [1] carries a “Postcard” from a student on a class ‘trip’ to … (ready for this example of help to the poor?) … THE GRAND CAYMAN ISLANDS ! ! It gets worse. The student relays what a ‘very interesting experience’ is was to visit STINGRAY CITY and swim with the Stingrays. I’m sure the parents of say Bristol Township are thrilled to know that public school includes stingrays as companions for all their kids too. Wait, it goes on… “WE CAME BACK TO THE SHIP.

Well for us bottom of the socio-economic dwelling residents a ship means the "choir" was on a cruise, not a ‘trip’. The student goes on to relate how “Dinner was fantastic, as usual and was followed by” … (maybe this was school related and the student retired to a private cabin to cram for a Marine Biology final). Lets find out. The postcard continues… “a dance on the pool deck where we danced the night away.”

So the idea that public education helps the poor leaves out the true nature of America’s biggest welfare program, the it helps the rich even more. For additional proof, consider the final sentence of the choir member’s postcard from The Grand Cayman Islands. “We’ll wait and see what Costa Maya has in store for us tomorrow.

Here’s a prediction of what the students encountered ‘tomorrow’ at Costa Maya. Nothing related to public school but something having to do with getting some rich teachers tax deductible winter trips to the Caribbean as chaperones for some very well off students and guess who paid for this outrageous "choir trip"? The people who ‘benefit’ from public schools, the middle and lower class. That’s how the poor is helped by public schools. It helps make them poor.

Don’t be mislead by the idea that the student was not from Bristol but from Council Rock. Public schools are heavily subsidized by Washington and Pennsylvania, two centers of public school tax collections.

There are even better examples to show the lopsided benefits to the upper classes. The same edition of the Courier shows the low qualifications needed to teach kids. Third graders who attend Richboro Elementary school were taught lessons ‘about people with different disabilities’. Who taught them? It turns out the teachers were not teachers but “two dozen Council Rock high school students.” The report says the high schoolers have done this “for 20 years.”

Why do we need teachers with Ed.D’s to teach things high schoolers have been teaching for 20 years? The truth is we don’t. Teaching is not hard. It is neither hard work nor hard to do. Public school has become welfare program for the teachers in the teachers unions. That’s the right and only way to think about public schooling. When students can do it themselves, it is almost fraud to pay an adult $135,000 for nine months of part time work. If the students cannot do it themselves, why does the ‘report’ say they have been teaching about disabilities for 20 years? Why are the students on so many ‘trips’ after the taxpayers had to build a massive high school building?

And who except a group of dumb bureaucrats would consider a winter trip to the Caribbean to sing songs part of an education?

I hate to be negative but my over $13,000 yearly hospitalization insurance bill must be paid for by April 1st. The ‘feel good’ part, it covers both my wife and I.