Centralized governments don't work because they always get down to fighting for power and self interests- they always get dictatorial and corrupt. Our founders tried to protect states rights in our constitution for this reason. In the 10th amendment they left all powers not SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED, to the states. They did not mention education for a very important reason- the states have that power- not the Federal Government.We should have realized in the 70's when the hippies started saying our schools were in crisis- that they wanted control of them. We should have realized when they wanted the FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION that this was because they wanted FEDERAL CONTROL of our schools. We should have listened to our founders but we didn't- and look where we are now- the playground for grown-ups.
As the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has gotten control of our schools the percentage of the school budgets that have gone to salaries has increased dramatically (property taxes have increased dramatically as a consequence of this school spending).In Helena NINETY-TWO PERCENT of our elementary budgets goes to salaries and EIGHTY-EIGHT PERCENT of our high school budgets go to salary. Schools are labor intensive and have always had large salary costs- but not NINETY TWO PERCENT!!Helena is now planning to add MORE SALARIES. Yes, a FEDERAL program called Success will add ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS of NEW SALARY COSTS to our high school budgets- these Success Counselors (drug counselors) are now on a grant- but that grant is going away.That's how they work it - grants that go away and leave the local schools holding the costs ( as well as the school budgets having to afford matching money up front.) No one wants to LOSE THEIR JOB!! So- on it goes- the schools are the playground for grown-ups- everyone fighting over that MONEY!! We have many hard working and dedicated people working in our schools- but the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT- has made school budgets a grab fest for non-profits, special agendas, and programs of every sort. When I was teaching- and that was seven years ago now- it was beginning to feel like classroom teaching was a side light and the teachers were working for the non-profits!
We all know that unions get THEIR MONEY from salaries- not from benefits or a good working environment. So what do the unions WANT? THEY WANT MORE SALARIES- MORE WORKERS- AT HIGHER SALARIES.The children get lost in this whole thing- everyone fighting for the MONEY!! When I went to speak to the joint legislative committee on Common Core, I got maybe ten minutes- as an after thought. Silver Back Technology that wants to get into all that Common Core money- got ONE AND ONE HALF HOURS!! I was just the public without a money interest- why didn't I just go away? There's business to do and I was just gumming up the works!! Who cares about the kids anymore?
Teachers are afraid to speak up- sometimes even afraid to speak to me in public.They have to support the program- go along. It's all about the paycheck. That's it period. Don't think, don't question, and don't worry about what's going on- just shut up and you'll be on the right side of things. Our patriotism and sometimes even our morals ( sex education for example) are put aside for job security. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has us all over a barrel. Sometimes I go to Home Town Helena at the Montana Club here- one time I spoke there. It was very quiet. These are business leaders- their only goal is to stay on the right side of things and get their share of the MONEY. Who was worried about the children or what was RIGHT for our schools? Our schools have become a playground for grownups who want money and to promote agendas in school (environmental, animal rights, gay rights- and so on). This is what happens with centralized control.GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS-and schools will once again become the playground for children instead of adults!!!