US tax shortfalls have our public schools begging for donations


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/27/education-is-a-public-good.html


#2

GOP messaging when it comes to evil government stealing your money has been so incredibly effective and persuasive. Here in Colorado progressive liberals won just about every seat on the ballot, but every single revenue increase was voted down. And by a margin. Meanwhile schools in rural areas are closing their doors one or more days a week to keep the lights on.


#3

Tax shortfalls you say?


#4

A start to improvement would be to stop fighting the endless, pointless wars that we can’t stop waging.


#5

This story goes with today’s other stories about demagoguery, lies, & the assault on the free press. Years of underfunded schools led us directly to the current situation.


#6

It’s nothing to do with capitalism per se; that’s just the framework in which the looting is happening this time around. As you said a few lines previously, public education is extremely beneficial to any well-regulated, market-based capitalism.

But of course this has been going on for decades, and is the natural and fervently desired consequence of the “Reagan Revolution”. Remember, the sainted Ronnie was the guy who killed taxpayer-funded college in America.

“If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement!”
– Ronald Wilson Reagan, the Beast 666, shortly before Kent State.


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#7

I’d like to see progressive states pass laws (or even state constitutional amendments) that automatically increase corporate tax rates by the same margin of any federal tax cuts. This would at least cover the local shortfall due to federal austerity.

When it comes down to it, the most important factor for the kind of business that cities and states want (high profit, high-paying, usually tech) is a highly-educated workforce.


#8

US tax shortfalls have our public schools begging for donations

A Betsy DeVos wet dream.


#9

Yes, this is a feature, not a bug.


#10

Tax savings for the already wealthy? An ignorant electorate that hasn’t been taught to think critically? On those two bases alone de-funding public education is a major win for the modern GOP.


#11

For the length of a generation, the Baby Boom meant that we had a ton of school-age children in the US and hence a ton of popular support for schooling children. Since that era, birthrates have steadily declined. In 1970, 56% of families had school-age children. In 2017, only 41% of families included school-age children. We’re seeing a lack of public demand for schools in large part because a significantly smaller portion of the voting population has children to send to those schools. There is a position that ensuring a free, quality of education for every child pays off for the common good, which most people find very abstract and theoretical compared to the size of their tax bills. No one runs political ads extolling the virtues of public education that target the childless majority.

If we’re having fewer children, what’s the source of the students swelling classrooms sizes? One quarter of public school students belong to immigrant families, and one quarter of those are from illegal immigrant families – kids we’ll likely deport one day. This means schools need additional money in the budget for ESL education. The parents of those kids can’t vote, and that’s not a population of kids that provokes a lot of sympathy from a significant portion of the voting public.

I think we need a much more convincing pro-education campaign that lays out the benefits even to childless people in appealing, practical terms. Merely crying “think of the children” isn’t going to cut it when it comes to education funding.


#12

I think it’s a feature of capitalism that it tends towards destroying the things it benefits from. Lowering taxes and starving public schools to fund stock buybacks isn’t that different from dumping your industrial waste in the river.

By this thinking millenials ought to be voting to get rid of all programs that fund the elderly and meanwhile ending all pension contributions. Once the boomers die en masse from horrific austerity that deprives them of housing and medical care, the younger generations can use their increased political power to do things for themselves.

Caring for children and for the elderly is a community interest, not a personal one.

I can’t help but feeling that our current situation is a result of the baby boomers being a generation raise by people mentally broken by world wars. This isn’t normal or rational. It’s a societal mirror to the generational recurrence of child abuse.


#13

Everyone has parent(s). Not everyone has children.


#14

One quarter of public school students belong to immigrant families, and one quarter of those are from illegal immigrant families – kids we’ll likely deport one day.

That’s not what we see on the ground. Only 1.4% of public school students are undocumented. The other students whose parents are undocumented are themselves citizens. When the parents are deported, these kids usually stay behind with relatives or friends, at least in the Portland Oregon area.


#15

It comes down to yet another area where the American right, distracted by movement conservatism’s racist rhetoric, votes against its own self-interest. The U.S. is a nation that replenishes its working population (i.e. young people who support older ones) not through high birthrates of native-born citizens but through immigration. Furthermore, a large part of the country’s economic success rests on the fact that, from the late 19th century to 1980, it saw the value in educating the children of immigrants in public schools.

The older portion of the Know-Nothing 27%, though, are so blinded by hatred of those with dark skin or those whose first language isn’t English or who aren’t Christian that they totally miss the point and what that means for them when they have to start collecting retirement benefits or have to have their diapers changed in a nursing home.

So maybe an ad featuring two children: one a blonde and blue-eyed kid standing in front of an exurban McMansion, one a Latinx kid standing at a border crossing, with the caption reading “Who’s More Likely to Wipe Your Bum When You’re Old? Support a Path to Citizenship for Immigrants and Public Education for their Kids.” That might get through the thick skulls of these selfish old gits (and of their selfish adult children).

Agreed, but you can only convince the GOP base to go along by a raw appeal to their selfishness and sense of racist entitlement.


#16

Here’s a data point several years newer than the one you linked.


#17

It’s not just lack of “demand”, it’s also that there has been a sustained attack on public education since integration, and that tax dollars have been consistently diverted away from schools to other aspects of the educational system (growing bureaucracy and security for one). I know people who are in local PTAs who are literally raising money for basic school maintenance instead of extras for the kids, which is what the PTA SHOULD be raising money for…

Education is a necessary part of the modern, complex economy. Taking money and resources away from that education has real world consequences.


#18

Not everyone has cars, let’s get rid of the highway system… not everyone can see, let’s get rid of public lighting infrastructure. Not Everyone has a boat, let’s fill up our rivers with trash. /s

Public education is a public good. when your neighbors aren’t educated, it’s harder for them to function in a modern economy, and the quality of life for ALL of us goes down. Much like funding a public health care system, even if you don’t have kids and don’t see yourself as directly benefiting from public education, you DO, because you live in and among people who were part of the public education system, some of whom you likely depend on for various things.

Citation needed. And even if they are here, WHO GIVES A FUCK. Stop seeing your fellow human beings as less than you because of what side of an imaginary line they were born on.


#20

I believe that if we do a root cause analysis on why the voting public has allowed this denigration of the education system, we would find it’s because a much smaller percentage of them have reason #1 to prevent it: school age kids. Parents of public school kids seem plenty motivated to get funding for their kids – so motivated they’re donating as per this article. It’s the rest of the voting public who needs concrete motivation.


#22

“Say what you mean, and mean what you say.”