Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thoughts for Today

Today is the annual vote on the HCSD budget and the election of new members of the school board. The polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. As you head to your polling place--which for Hudsonians is John L. Edwards Primary School--consider these thoughts about public education uttered, with passion, by Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) in Episode 18 of The West Wing
Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense.  
So, how are we doing in fulfilling Sam Seaborn's ideal for public education? We've got three towers on the junior and senior high school that cost half a million dollars each. That's pretty palatial. We've got five HCSD employees getting six-figure salaries and fourteen more getting very close to six figures. Our schools are incredibly expensive--but not absolutely free of charge to us citizens. The annual budget we're being asked to approve is $41.5 million, and 46 percent of that is coming from the property owners in the district. And then there's the whole silver bullet thing.       

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