When The Levy Breaks

When I married Sarah, hidden in the vows was the clause that I am to vote yes for public school levies for the rest of my life. I could live with that, despite my Libertarian-ish ways.

Despite being bothered by the fact that only a government institution could abruptly find itself $72 million in debt. Despite the fact that only government budgets must separate capital funds from operational funds, leading to a ridiculous situation where teachers and staff are cut while nearly $1 billion is spent on building new schools. Despite the fact that these levies continue to feed into a public school funding formula that has been declared unconstitutional multiple times by the Ohio Supreme Court (SCOO?). Despite the fact that the teachers unions allow the youngest, cheapest, most energetic teachers to be cut first, while the teachers who have taught the longest are allowed to do and change the least while being paid the most.

Despite all these things, I support the upcoming CPS levy. And you should too. Because they haven't asked for a new operating levy in 7 years. Because these teachers work in extraordinary - no - super-ultra-extraordinary environments. Where they are required to do more and more with less and less. Get to school at 7 am. Use one hour to plan 6 hours of talking. No bathroom breaks. A half-hour for lunch, maybe, if you don't eat while grading. No office supplies. No assistants. No climate control. Advanced education requirements with no advanced salary. Kids who misbehave. Kids who are behind. When you get home, maybe you can grade some more. At least you get summers off.

And that was all before No Child Left Behind. You see, in the past few decades, kids who were behind, or were severe behavior problems, were either casually advanced or forgotten about altogether. But NCLB is literal in its name and its intent. But that last 10%-20% of kids who never graduated high school and weren't thought of again, it takes a lot more than 10%-20% of extra effort to get them to meet ever-rising federal standards. A lot more.

So now, on top of all the problems with education that were already there, now teachers have to participate in counseling, intervention, special education, and behavior plans. More counselors. More psychologists. More aides. More specialists. And where does the money to pay all these people come from?

No where at the moment. But the levy, our disproportionate property tax unconstitutionally funded levy, will help.

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