Monday, September 25, 2006

Democrats Not Done Consolidating

Rumors continue to leak out that the Democrats are not done consolidating rural schools. Reporter Doug Thompson this Sunday noted that rumours persist that Senator Jim Argue is going to introduce a bill that will raise the mandatory consolidation number from 350 to 800 students. In other words, no matter how good a job a school is doing, it would be closed down simply because it is small. Tiny Alpena, who dominates 7A schools at the regional science fair, would be closed while failing schools would remain open.

Doug Thompson noted that "A bill allowing covenant marriages of gay couples who are willing to be foster parents would get farther." We will see about that. The consolidators have taken the divide and conqueor approach. Tell the schools above 350 that they are only going after those below 350. Then once you get those schools absorbed, go after the ones with less than 800, knowing that those schools now have less allies because the ones under 350 are already gone. Once the ones under 800 are gone, go for those with less than 1500 as originally proposed. After that, county-wide school districts.

Thompson also gets to the real consolidation threat when he says, "While on the topic of schools, I should mention that building standards will close more schools than course requirements, salary gaps and consolidation conspiracy theories put together."

Look for the opponents of community control to try all those tactics and more to transfer control of your child's education from your home to Little Rock. The "set minimum number" idea is too brute force, people are wise to it now. So what they do now is that they add "requirements" that only mega schools costing mega bucks can meet. They then offer mega bucks- from your pocket- to schools who consolidate. They take your money and offer to give some of it back to you if you will transfer control of your child's education from your community to a place far off! Pretty nifty, eh? Or perhaps you can think of some other word for it.

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