Conservative Attack Coming to Your Town

Conservatives in the state legislature have spent years defunding state education support; now they may be coming to your town to attack your schools directly.

As MPR has reported, conservative legislators are kicking off a statewide campaign opposing local levy referenda. Their transparently disingenuous rationale? The state's $50 per pupil increase in the last legislative session.

Never mind that many districts are asking to renew or increase levy amounts in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Never mind that the $50 pity increase from the state was meant to partially offset the delayed state payments to local schools. Never mind that state support is almost 13% lower per pupil than it was in 2003, when adjusted for inflation.

No, what matters to these conservatives is that public schools always be asked to do more with less. They've pledged “no new taxes,” so they can “starve the beast” and shrink government “to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Say what you will about the ills of our education system, but trying to improve our children's opportunities for the future doesn't strike me as a particularly beastly endeavor.

For as much as they praise “the will of the people” and the strength of community, that apparently only counts if the people and their communities agree with the conservative mindset. Who are these people to come into our communities and tell us how much we're allowed to support our neighbors, kids, and grandkids?

Some school systems have problems, but starving them to death is not going to fix anything. Telling us how much we should do to support our community's children – and hiding behind their own cover-our-butts spending offset – says volumes about how little regard conservatives have for our compassion, our decisions, and our intelligence.

Posted in Education | Related Topics: K-12 education  Education Funding  Conservative Policy  "No New Taxes" 

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