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Blog

    Public Schools Next at the Bailout Trough

    12/01/2008

    Since I wrote about the Metro asking for a bailout and noted that there were at least some flagging industries that still hadn't asked for a bailout, to no surprise to anyone, that has changed.  Newspapers have indeed started asking for their handout because without newspapers, according to people who have never heard of the internet, citizens would have no idea what was going on.  Michelle Malkin has been watching the ridiculousness unfold over on her blog.

    Even as Big Government wades further and further into the private sector, increasing numbers of public entities want their piece of bailout pie as well, as if they didn't already get our tax dollars every other day of the week.  First it was the states, then cities, and now, public schools.  The Miami Herald reports  "Miami-Dade schools chief Alberto Carvolho: Schools deserve bailout, too" (h/t Beyond Bailouts).

    With the state facing a potential $1.4 billion tax shortfall, Miami-Dade Schools chief Alberto Carvalho called on the federal government to consider a bailout for the nation's public schools.

    ''The question in my mind is this: At a time when we're continuing the bailout of key industries, at what point do we have a bailout of public education?'' asked Carvalho.

    Ironically, public schools share some problems with their fellow bailout-wannabes in the Big 3, namely, problematic union contracts and poor quality.

    Teachers unions require ever higher taxation to pay high salaries based solely on seniority, while at the same time they spend dues not on improving education as promised, but on their political agenda. And myriad other practices, like tenure that makes firing poor teachers almost impossible, mirror the UAW's infamous job banks.

    While the Big 3 refuse Chapter 11, arguing that consumers won't buy cars from bankrupt manufacturers, parents shouldn't still be forced to send their children to what are basically bankrupt public schools.  Encouraging school choice is a great solution to the financial woes of public schools where funding follows the children and with it comes accountability.

    Here are two great stories of where school choice improved not just student's futures, but also the public school districts themselves:

    Just as Chapter 11 bankruptcy would actually be a good deal for the Big 3 - giving them the time to reorganize and the space to get out from under some crippling contracts - the best solution for public schools is less government and more choice.