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While I appreciate the need to consider the rising costs of education (March 10, Taming costs), it is fascinating there are only two targets. Immediately we take aim at teachers’ salaries, a segment that typically makes up three-quarters of the total cost of education, and yet the reality is teachers are not as highly paid as they probably should be given their contributions to society. The second target is class size. I doubt many of us would voluntarily spend all day in a classroom and feel we had successfully educated the ten or more children under out tutelage. Schools are not factories that can mass produce educated people on assembly lines.
The issue is not about spending too much or the tax rate being too high. The issue is how are we spending the money. I say education needs even greater support considering such investments pay immense returns to society.
If we need more money to fund education, let’s look no further than the fact that one of every two tax dollars accounted for on April 15 goes to support “defense.” The returns on military spending, as we can see over and over and over, are dismal or negative, nearly always creating more of a mess than they resolve.
If the Legislature is willing to tell local school boards “no more,” they should also be willing to tell the Department of Defense the same thing.
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