Ever notice how politicians in both parties always want to spend more on education at all levels? There never, never seems to be enough money. After all, spending more on education is a feel-good type exercise. It makes our caring-karma glow and helps politicians get re-elected. But what good does it do our children? Why are we not seeing positive results there? Could it be because of the K-Mart (no offense to K-Mart) mentality of educating our children. That is to say, quantity rather than quality, like the editor writes. . .
The problem at the bigger, higher-profile institutions like the University of Florida and Florida State University is that they have been trying to handle too many students with increasingly tight budgets.
Yes, the budgets have risen in total dollars, but not enough to offset the rising costs of providing high-quality education to growing numbers of students.
Time is long overdue to expect more for our money which is already ‘invested’ into educating our children, and to dispel this blank-check, or bottomless-pit theory that if we just spend more money on education that we will get bright and educated children. We’ve had bright and educated children in our history with much smaller expenditures than what we are seeing today.
In financing education in Florida, the lottery shell-game that we all bought into years ago ‘has come home to roost.’ And while some politicians are quick to trash BIG OIL, BIG PHARM, BIG INSURANCE, and BIG ENERGY on costs, where in the world are they on BIG EDUCATION? The assumption that spending more money because costs are rising, instead of addressing the rising cost is where we lose focus on the important thing, teaching our children to be bright, productive, and able to think and reason on their own.
To borrow an overused phrase and campaign slogan, it’s time for change we can believe in. It’s time for politicians to step up and attack the ‘rising cost’ factor like they are so quick to do with other industries, instead of the taxpayers’ wallet. But first, they have to come to terms with their biggest obstacle, BIG LABOR, teacher’s unions.
related link: PNJ editorial, No free lunch on tuition