Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Money won't improve schools

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Northwest Herald.

Money won't improve schools

[published on Mon, Apr 17, 2006]
Money won't improve schools

To the Editor:

Thirty years of experience has shown us that spending more money doesn't produce better schools.

The "it's for the kids" argument is losing its effectiveness, as most education referendums have failed in recent years.

Rather than promise what they can't deliver – better schools – the new strategy of the education establishment is to threaten to make schools worse if referendums don't pass. Threats of unnecessary cuts in extracurricular activities fill the news.

Rational people know that a public school system capable of decades of mediocrity certainly is capable of shortchanging students even further.

Because busy people don't have the time or energy to demand change, they give into threats.

Taxpayers continue to increase revenue to public schools at a rate that outpaces both inflation and enrollment growth.

But because of the Illinois public school finance culture, no increase in funding ever will be enough.

Very few certified public accountants, or people with master's degrees in business administration or serious private-sector business experience sit on school boards or serve as district chief financial officers.

The Illinois Constitution calls for an "efficient system of high quality."
Public schools lack the proper incentives to fulfill this mandate. We need school choice.

John Biver

No comments: