Tag Archives: inflation

Do You Really Think All That "Stimulus" Money Will Go to Help Kids Like Me?

I’m only 5 (almost 6) years old, but I’m no dummy. The reason we all ought to be skeptical of the “it’s for the children” line is the political realities of how the money is spent. In his Pajamas Media column, Greg Forster unravels the uncritical support of our new President’s grand plans to throw billions of dollars at schools as part of a so-called “stimulus” package: I suspect that pretty much nobody in Congress really believes the Keynesian theory. There are two real motivations behind all stimulus bills. First, it creates an opportunity for politicians to claim credit for any good economic news that subsequently comes along. Second, it’s an excuse to shovel money at powerful constituencies, from whom you can later demand reciprocal support. It’s the latter reason that will determine how the new school spending in the stimulus bill will be spent. The money won’t go where it’s needed. It will go to the gravy train.

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Barack Obama's "Stimulus" Plan Would Grow Union Jobs, Hinder School Reform

The big story in the news is about President-elect Obama’s giant “stimulus” plan – better known as a giant spending spree that hangs even more debt on the shoulders of me and other kids growing up around America. That part is bad enough. But three leading education reformers – Michael Petrilli, Checker Finn, and Frederick Hess – see other serious problems that it will create for trying to improve our schools and help students learn. In the column they wrote for National Review yesterday, the authors challenge the suggestion that tons of federal government money “invested” in education will yield more positive results down the road: In concept, of course, well-delivered education eventually yields higher economic output and fewer social ills. But there’s scant evidence that an extra dollar invested in today’s schools delivers an extra dollar in value — and ample evidence that this kind of bail-out will spare school administrators from making hard-but-overdue choices about how to make their enterprise more efficient and effective.

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K-12 Officials Blaming Special Education is Sort of Like Me Blaming Cookie Monster

Let’s admit it. None of us likes to take the blame, including the things we really are responsible for. And many times there are easy targets for those of us who like blame-shifting. One of my favorite education policy people, Dr. Jay Greene, put up a great post a couple days ago that is really worthwhile reading, titled “Blaming Special Ed”. In the post, he deconstructs the widely-held myth that special education is to blame for the lion’s share of increasing K-12 costs in recent decades: Blaming special ed is easy. Most attempts to blame special ed don’t even bother presenting data or make the most crude use of data to support their claims. Reporters simply accept assertions from school and state officials without question. Folks accept the blame-special-ed-story so easily because — well, to put it bluntly – it is a a widely held but unstated prejudice. People quietly resent special education because they fear that it is short-changing their regular education students. They assume that money spent on disabled kids is necessarily money taken away from general education. They can’t imagine that resources for general education have also increased at a very rapid clip even as special ed […]

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