Friday, June 15, 2007

When we celebrate the second-hander 

A celebratory note appears as a page-one story in the local paper of how the tax consumers got theirs.

In a corner office on the fifth floor of the U.S. Bank building that overlooks downtown, St. Cloud school board member Jerry Von Korff has piled up 16 megabytes worth of memos, notes, graphs and charts about special education funding and the Legislature.

Getting legislators to stop shifting costs of special education programs to local school districts has been a quest that Von Korff, a teacher turned lawyer, has pursued for almost a decade.

In this, his fourth year on the St. Cloud school board, Von Korff, his fellow board members, the district administration and some volunteers are getting credit for generating broad-based support among other Minnesota school districts and education groups and for finally convincing lawmakers to assign additional state dollars to special education.

...Let's put it this way," Von Korff said. "A sense of panic has gone away."

The Legislature took care of about half the problem, school officials and legislators said.

Thus the happiness of our educational system depends not on getting differently-abled students to reach their full potential, but on the school board's member's ability to extract additional dollars from others. He looks not at the student but at the legislature. Would that one school board member, anywhere offer the bargain "Remove the requirements on teaching special education, leave that to us, and you needn't give us a single dollar." Why does this man have sixteen megabytes of information to lobby, rather than sixteen megabytes of information on how to educate? And why does our newspaper celebrate this?

Do they ever argue for less regulation rather than more money?

Source of second-hander.

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