An Odd Rebuke to Statewide Funding

The NEA speaks out on the question of turning education funding over to the state. And it makes little sense.

Writing to the Kansas City Star, the group’s president had this to say about “Tough Choices or Tough Times.”

“On the issue of school funding, the National Education Association thinks that removing local funding does little to stabilize the education system and removes the power of communities to define education programs that fit their unique needs. A one-size-fits-all approach to school funding only works when all schools and communities are equal and socio-economically balanced.” (Source: Do public schools need drastic change? NO, Kansas City Star, December 29.)

All schools and communities are equal? Socio-economically balanced? Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas? Topeka and Oberlin? Dodge City and Mankato?

Balanced? Equal? As in income, racial and ethnic composition, family structure? Not even in the most egalitarian-minded government can bring that about.

By the way, the NEA piece is part of a pro and con feature. The other side is represented by the Honolulu Advertiser, which says “The experts think schools that are state-funded but locally controlled stand a better chance of bridging the gap between rich and poor students. This seems to underscore the argument that funding equity is essential, but the focus of education should rest at the school level, not in a bureaucracy.”

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