Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brownback Watch

I realize I've been neglecting Brownback Watch between NaNoWriMo (which is awesome, even though I am seven thousand words behind...maybe only five thousand behind by the end of the night), scholars' bowl, and, oh, my job.  But the devil never sleeps, and the nefarious deeds of our state's CEO never cease.

Currently, he's plotting to privatize Medicaid, because not enough people were making profits of the back of Kansas' poorest and most in need of health care.  Managed care for them!  If you don't already feel horror at this, then I don't suppose there's anything much to add.  Made my stomach curdle for sure.

Also, we had a school finance meeting; like one of our higher-ups (who, despite being an employer of sorts, is also pretty great) said, there really isn't anything we do that isn't good for kids.  So any cuts we have to make are going to be bad for kids.  And with a proposal to cut the income tax completely, and limits to how much we can raise property taxes, we are looking at serious cuts to kids' education.  The state also didn't even come up with the pittance they promised us this year.  Talk about financial responsibility!  I mean, you can hate on us overpaid public school teachers all you want, but the more of us they have to cut, the more extra-curriculars you have to cut, the more caring adults and educational opportunities you cut out of young people's lives:  you are stiffing the young of their presents and their futures.   Greed and recession are not their fault.  Don't cripple them for life.

The inspiring Scott Crow came to visit this fine town in Kansas this weekend, promoting his new book; he is an enthralling speaker and full of great stories and wisdom.  I tend to avoid the inspirational, but he really was!  I'll get his book later this month, with my shipment from PM Press; look forward to another review of a revolutionary memoir.  Anyway, one thing he said stuck with me in light of the school finance meeting:  even if we got nationalized health care--which would be a great humanitarian effort--we would still need to open up community health centers.  My first impression was, why?  Wouldn't nationalized health care allow us to move our energy to other things?  But then I realized:  what the hierarchical government gives, the hierarchical government can take away.  The hierarchical government gave us the promise of education for all.  Alas, without a culture that reveres education, skill sharing, knowledge in general, that promise cannot be fulfilled.  Now the promise is being revoked, with its unfulfilled status offered as justification.

ARRRGGGG.  I could write all day about this.  And all night.  But I have a pep talk, a novel, a devotional, and an algebra test to write tonight.  So we'll have to live the ritual blog-lashing of education reformers for another day, not quite as beautiful nor as horrific as this one.

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