MPG Posted: Nov 23, 2006 11:27 PM >While we wait for the money to trickle down (from where >we can't quite divine), we'll all tighten our belts and >hope for the best. Maybe in heaven, if we're really, >really good, we'll be allowed to expect a little more. >Until then, however, I'm sure vouchers will solve our >problems, along with, of course, blowing up the schools >of education.
Let me see if I have this straight. First, Mary Sue Coleman, the president of UM, tells the people of Michigan to "Fuck Off" (I paraphrase) http://www.umich.edu/pres/speeches/061103div.html after they expressed, by supporting Proposition 06-2 and by a large margin, their disgust with racist policies. And now you are dazed and confused about why the same good people of Michigan, by rejecting Proposition 06-5 (and, it seems, by repealing the single business tax, which I had not heard of), refuse to support the racist institutions and the racists who control them.
From my, admittedly distant, point of view, the people of Michigan seem remarkable clear and consistent in their preferences. Have you considered the possibility that if you and your education buddies were to give Michiganders a little more of what they want, they might give you a little more of what you want?
The insufferable arrogance of the educrats aside, if you are going to be intellectually honest, you must admit that what has just happened in Michigan is fully consonant with what I have been asserting and predicting all along in this thread. Namely, that school funding levels are unsustainable and that change, in one form or another, is coming. Voila! here it is. And, most likely there will be more of the same.
Quite a similar thing happened recently in NY State. In NY, the weapon of choice for the Education Mafia was not a ballot proposition but a law suit, the infamous "Campaign For Fiscal Equity" ("CFE"), by which the AFT and their running dogs were going to shake down the state for "billions and billions" of dollars. The figures varied over time, at one point hovering around $8 Billion.
Well, there was a final ruling on 11/20/06, settling the matter at under $2 Billion. "A billion here, a billion there...", and all that, but this amounted to a crushing blow to the CFE because (a) it is very much less than they wanted, and (b) the size of the increase is easily in the ball park of what normally might have transpired in the usual give-and-take of state politics. Plus, the conclusion did not reformulate the fundamental equations of state funding, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/21/education/21schools.html?_r=1&oref=slogin In other words, after thirteen years of litigation, the CFE got a big Bronx Cheer (a raspberry, for all you folks west of the Hudson River). I am sure it was as clear to a lot of other people as it was to me that this was the only possible outcome.
The only reason the outcome in NY State is a tad less dramatic than in Michigan is because the financial condition of NY State is a tad less desperate. First, NY is a bigger, richer state than Michigan. Second, although we spend plenty on education, our expenditures are a somewhat smaller percent of our total budget. Plus, there is nothing going on in NY that remotely resembles what is happening in Detroit.
The situation of the Detroit public schools reminds me of a comment once made by the Prussian king, Frederick II,
"Show me a general who makes a frontal assault on a prepared defensive position, and I will show you a man who does not know what else to do."
Michigan will spend another thin dime on the Detroit public schools only because they do not know what else to do.