Friday, May 06, 2005

The 65% Solution

No, it's not a Sherlock Holmes story in which Holmes' drug use has gotten way out of hand. It's an idea for giving schools more of what they need (more teachers and/or more classroom supplies such as computers & laboratory equipment) without raising taxes. George Will, in his April 11th column, said

"[Patrick Byrne's] idea — call it The 65 Percent Solution — is politically delicious because it unites parents, taxpayers and teachers while, he hopes, sowing dissension in the ranks of the teachers unions..."

The plan is to get every state to pass a law that says each school district must spend 65% of its educational operating budget on classroom instruction--i.e. teachers' salaries and educational supplies, instead of bureacrat's salaries. Sounds good to me. More money in the classroom may not solve problems such as low expectations, teachers who know more about educational theory than the subject they're teaching, the self-esteem culture, or the kind of relativism that says "all answers are equally valid so why teach good spelling/grammar/whatever"; but it would at least mean that more of our tax dollars made it into the classrooms, where it has a chance of doing some good, rather than into administrative pockets, where it won't.

First Class Education has more, including a graphic that will tell you how much your state stands to gain in classroom funds, should it adopt a 65% rule. (Four states already meet the 65% goal.)

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