A bee keeper once mused that you should always expect the bigger the pot of honey, the greater and more voracious the bees. The pot of Mississippi education funding of around $3.5 billion produces a roaring buzz from activist, teachers’ unions, out of state professional gun slingers, politicians and anyone else protecting their share of the honey pot.
Forget the fact that past and recent studies from sources no less than The AE Casey Foundation, Census Bureau, and the NEA, have proven absolutely no correlation between more funding and better education. Forget the fiscal responsibility every elected official has to make tough budget decisions in years with limited dollars. Put aside the reality that each school year the budget increases as the number of students and test scores decline. The fact remains that the vast collective data of experience points to utter fiefdom failure of the system.
The coordinated push to force an unreasonable funding formula through a constitutional amendment on taxpayers shows a contempt for positive change. The mission of these many groups to make fiscally irresponsible budget decisions the law of the land, while at the same time protecting the government’s dictatorial power over school choice, is all encompassed in the MAEP drive.
For the children and the overburdened taxpayers of Mississippi, there is little to celebrate. If there is any success to be mentioned, it’s the continued growth of the education bureaucracy itself. That continued growth is achieved through powerful political influence of a few at the expense of the many-who unfortunately become more powerless each year.
Those groups all on board with their MAEP blitz for mandatory dollars seem to base their premise that Mississippians have ample dollars in their family budget to afford another tax increase. It’s either that or they sincerely believe money grows on Washington D.C. trees and bloom forth like cherry blossoms.
The very least we can do as parents/taxpayers, is be aware that the barrage of news stories, emergency press conferences, new research, alarming concerns of doom and dumb, frantic calls to action, etc.,are not a product of reality but a coordinated swarm of publicity attacks to gain needed signatures.
Finally, the shameful consequences of these union style drones are that teachers and students get lost deeper in an empty comb of despair. And at the same time each school year, elected superintendents become more powerful and less answerable to the people they are suppose to serve. For generations these forces have combined to grow and protect that power by stamping out those who may pose a threat.
Yet, even with this record of educational failure, the bloated bureaucracy
ignores those who demand real change…especially most lawmakers, who have learned to keep a safe distance for fear of being stung, particularly during election season.