A couple days ago I brought to your attention the looming heartburn the Colorado legislative session portends for those who support parental choice, school accountability, and the transparent, effective use of tax dollars in K-12 education. If you want to keep tabs on your needed antacid intake by checking the status of introduced legislation, you ought to join me in bookmarking Ed News Colorado’s bill tracker for the next four months.
Anyway, as has been pointed out, the big education issue before the state legislature this year will be changing the School Finance Act with a tax increase referral to voters tied at the hip. From now to May, the drum will continue to bang loudly for “adequate funding.” Before the tears and drama take over, it will be important to remember that Colorado’s K-12 funding debate really could use some important facts.
But in the meantime the state’s largest teachers union — its concrete headquarters stationed a good stone’s throw away from the State Capitol — has produced a series of videos calling for greater “economic investment” in education. It’s for the children, of course. Yes, this is the same Colorado Education Association that resists commonsense entitlement reform that would spare children (and future children) from crushing debt.
By introducing me to this video series, the good folks at WhoSaidYouSaid reaffirmed my belief that the new legislative session indeed is a time to “Run for cover, and hold onto your wallets!” Especially when the local union president narrating the video posted on their site says:
I think we’re at the point in education funding in this state, that no matter how efficient we made the system, we simply don’t have enough funds to do it. We simply don’t have enough funds to cover all the things that we’d like to pay for in public education….
At first, I thought maybe she was inferring that the plague of “Baumol’s disease” can’t be overcome, that our public schools are just doomed to spend more, become more labor-intensive, and less productive. Though quickly discarding that reaction, I still am compelled to ask CEA leaders: What are all the things you’d like to pay for? Do they include:
- Six-figure legal bills to remove poorly-behaving non-probationary teachers from employment?
- Union officers released from the classroom full-time to do union business?
- The unsustainable Public Employees Retirement Association defined benefit plan?
Mind you, these are just a few prominent examples. But it’s a fair question to ask, especially if this is going to be the education debate under the Golden Dome in 2013. Buckle your safety belts….