State Comptroller John Morgan has proposed a new funding measure for education in Tennessee to help improve, as he says, Tennessee’s low graduation rates. I would first like to point out the state of Texas, whose government has finally figured out that throwing more money at the public school system does not necessarily mean that schools are going to improve (see the report on foxnews.com). It is easily forgotten that the public school system is a government entity and, by very definition, a bureaucracy that is quite skilled at wasting money. Giving more money to the government is equivocal to giving more money to a spoiled teenager – they are doomed to throw it away.

Now to the root of my problem with Morgan’s proposal: he suggests that the state should have more power over the funding of the school system because local governments are dropping the ball. As it stands, local governments have majority control over how much money is spent on their local schools. His argument is that local governments who don’t care so much about their schools are not giving them as much money as they need and children are suffering (I am picturing a “Simpsons” episode…that most glorious of all political cries, “What about the children?!?”) What he does not consider is that many communities – ours in particular, as I am sure that there are many others across the state – have large home-schooling groups who do not use the public school system. These communities are, of course, not going to throw as much money into the government indoctrination institutions, er, public schools, as those communities who have large numbers of children attending and, therefore, a larger stake in the system. Why should our community be forced to spend huge amounts of money on something that a vast number of our citizens are not using? Why should the Agape homeschooling group (there’s my plug for my most favorite homeschooling group in the area!) have to give up their sales and property tax dollars for something they are not using? Not to mention the thousands of students who attend private schools in our area (Tri-Cities Christian, Providence Academy, St. Mary’s…) As someone who is the process of buying a home, the thought of my property tax dollars being spent, at the behest of the bureaucrats in Nashville, on something that I, along with most of my friends, will never use is outrageous.

Mr. Morgan will break it down to x number of dollars per student (in this case, he wants to increase funding from $5,108 “per student” to $7,218 “per student”), when we all know (at least I hope we do) that the “per student” term is merely something to make us think that each student in the government indoctrination institution actually receives x number of dollars in services, when that is not the case.

How dare you, Mr. Morgan, try to take power away from local governments to further your political goals. The citizens of Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City, Jonesborough, Greeneville, Gray, and each and every community in this great state of Tennessee know much better than the bureaucrats in Nashville what is best for our communities and for you, Mr. Morgan, to try and take that decision-making power away from us is a real shame.

So, Matthew Hill (my state representative, of whom I am very proud!) and all the rest of you in Nashville: don’t you dare allow the State Comptroller (or anyone else, for that matter) decide what is best for your district! We are quite capable of educating our own children, thank you very much, without interference from Nashville. I will be watching this, and if I have to go to Nashville to fight it, I will (although I have every confidence in Matthew Hill to do my fighting for me!)

PS. My fear, by the way, is that opposing increased funding for government indoctrination istitutions, in the political arena, is equivocal to suggesting that we murder large numbers of adorable little kittens and our representatives will, therefore, be too terrified to oppose the measure. We might want to let them know that it is okay to refuse to throw more money into a government program – even if it is the educational system. Write to your representative!!!

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