Tuesday, June 06, 2006

To educate the most? It's not FAPE

Unbridled Costs
Washington Post Tuesday, June 6, 2006; Page A14

As special education spending soars, D.C. schools raid other accounts.

YESTERDAY'S front-page story about the growing drain of special education tuition on D.C. public schools should have stopped school administrators, city leaders, parents and all taxpayers in their tracks. Spending on special education students assigned to private schools has risen 65 percent since 2000 to a whopping $118 million last year, Dan Keating and V. Dion Haynes report. To cover those costs, D.C. school officials have siphoned off tens of millions of dollars from classroom instruction, librarians, guidance counselors, supplies, equipment and maintenance. School board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz, acknowledging that she and other board members were unaware of the transfers, told The Post that special education spending was "so overbudget that they took it from whatever budget was available. It's the biggest scam in America."

FAPE, a free and public education is a fine idea, in theory. My personal belief is that folks who pay taxes in a given district should have some public services available to them, even if they are paying for private schools. The problem that arises from the latter, is that most of the services that would be used by private school parents are highly disproportionate to the amount of taxes paid. In the case of the former, if your child's educational goals include tying their shoes without help or not hitting other students, that's not providing education, that's public subsidy daycare. That aspect means that massive amounts of money and resources are being diverted from the majority, who will eventually become working taxpayers, to an exceedingly small minority, who will never benefit society through public monies spent on their behalf.
Obviously, the problem that arises is that I, and anyone who dares to share my beliefs, are cruel, unfeeling, mean-spirited scumbags. "If it benefits just one child, it's worth it!" The problem is, if it subtracts from all other children, it's not.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

No news is...no news, if nobody cares

Number of Gitmo Hunger Strikers Declines
Sunday, June 4, 2006 6:24 PM EDT
The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The number of Guantanamo Bay detainees on hunger strike has dropped from 89 to 18, the U.S. military said Sunday.
The strike — which jumped from three participants in late May to 89 on Thursday — was the biggest of the year at the U.S. prison in Cuba, where about 460 men are being held on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.

Now, I maybe wrong, but isn't this a natural occurance? At least, if there's any dedication.