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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Don't (just) throw more money at it

I really can't fault Tennesseans for not wanting to spend more money on public education, as a new Vanderbilt study indicates:

The study showed that Tennesseans are concerned about their public education system and do not rate it highly or have confidence it is on the right track. But respondents said they are not eager to spend more money on the system, even though they say they would like teachers to be better paid.
Don't get me wrong--it's not that I don't want to see public education improved. I do. I also think a major portion of the local budget should be dedicated to education in order to help allieviate crime and poverty.

I have two disclaimers to make: I never attended public school, and I have no idea what is wrong with our schools. It seems like a very complex problem with plenty of politics and competing agendas. (See my previous post regarding Nancy Pelosi and replace the political references with educational ones.)

Only increasing the budget isn't enough. Is there a diagnosis and proposed strategic solution for improving our schools? Has there been an independent audit to look at how existing funds are spent?

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