Fred Crouch: GOP’s forecast for public education

December 28, 2013 

At first glance, the logic of the Dec. 15 letter “Cloudy compensation,” unfavorably comparing our public educators’ performance to the uneven results of weather forecasting, seems cloudy indeed despite an apt analogy that can be made between the difficulties faced by both professions.

Its simplistic “input/output” argument regarding teacher pay implies that the minimum wage should be $0.75 an hour as when I had my first job. (My productivity then at shoveling and hosing out dog pens could never have been surpassed.)

But if we view the landscape through our ALEC legislature’s eyes, the fog quickly dissipates, and it becomes crystal clear why educators’ work must be castigated and their compensation suppressed: Conservative Republicans simply hate public education for at least three reasons. First, they are forced to pay taxes to fund it. Second, it represents a huge potential for-profit market, hanging tantalizingly just out of reach. (Taxpayer-supplied vouchers are just the first salvo in the coming long battle to privatize public schools.) And third, public education is encumbered by all those pesky regulations – first and foremost, separation of church and state.

We don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Fred Crouch

Raleigh

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