It's all about (cynically exploiting) the children


The cynical gang who put together this package tied a wee bit of money for the public schools to the $183 million for the downtown sports arena, so they could tell you, "It's all about the children."

A Tulsa Whirled story this morning confirms a lot of suspicions. It is interesting that they turn to someone from the Tulsa Metro Chamber to answer questions, instead of asking someone from a public school district.

If Proposition 3 passes, public school districts will get $55 per pupil for only two years. That's equal to the annual textbook allocation from the state. They have to use that money for instructional materials. The Chamber flack says that schools would be able to use their $55 state textbook allocation for something else instead, like hiring teachers. But the extra money will only be there for two years, at which point any new teachers would need to be laid off.

I'm sure the local districts would be grateful for any bit of help right now, but if Prop 3 passes, the children (and their parents) will be stuck with an enormous bill. The County will borrow money to buy these textbooks in years 1 and 2, and we will spend the next 11 years paying back the loans, with interest. By the time the loans are paid off, the textbooks will be obsolete and this year's kindergarten students will be graduating seniors.

On top of that, because of the dishonest way the County Commission structured this ballot, in order to get the pittance for schools, we have to approve $183 million for the Downtown Sports Arena and Convention Center, plus another $40 million for Expo Square. That's like going to the store to buy a gallon of milk, and being told to get the milk you have to pay full price for a big screen TV -- we'll throw in the milk for free. That's no bargain, and neither is this. Essentially we'll be paying over $3,400 per pupil to get $110 worth of books. Proposition 3 is a bad deal for kids, for teachers, and for taxpayers.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 6, 2003 3:50 PM.

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