Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Taking the fun out of funding

There are many problems with our education system, but on any reasonable person's short, funding must appear.

That's why this article from today's Wall Street Journal is so scary. The irresponsible spending of the last four years is catching up to us. Cheney once said (according to ex-Treasury Sec. Paul O'Neill) that Reagan proved deficits don't matter any more; uh, actually -- how do I say this? They do.

Said President Bush in yesterday's news conference (via wsj.com): "It's going to be a tough budget, no question about it, and it's a budget that I think will send the right signal to the financial markets and those concerned about our short-term deficits."

Investors are starting to pull their money out of American markets and the dollar is suffering for it. So, to improve the fiscal health of the country, the budget will be cut in many areas. The military, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be touched. (And of course, it would be heresy to suggest that the tax cuts be repealed.)

Guess what will be cut? Yup, you guessed it. Education will again get the shaft.

Just as schools are forced to try and cope with the brave new world of NCLB, they'll have to do it with less funding. And it's not just elementary and high schools either. The National Science Foundation will lose much of its funding, and the Pell Grant program will also face cuts. I'm really glad we have our priorities straight.

If the president really, truly wants for no child to be left behind -- and I'm not so cynical to disbelieve him on this -- then he needs to increase funding for education and decrease the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. I won't hold my breath.

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