Wednesday, January 08, 2003


They've found a whole bunch of mold growing in some portable classrooms in Papillion, Neb., and have had to shuffle kids off to makeshift locations while they clean and disinfect to prevent further health problems. This has been going on for some time now in public schools in the South, and raising concerns, as it should, about school maintenance practices and basic environmental health for our most vulnerable citizens, our children.

It's good that they're getting rid of the mold. But guess what? They're missing a much bigger infestation of it . . . in the way our public schools are structured and governed.

That's right: the mass production model of education is as moldy as a loaf of bread left over from the 1960s. That's when LBJ's Great Society got the ball rolling in everything from education to health care to start us on the road toward socialism. Unfunded federal mandates, counter-productive federal entitlements, onerous federal regulations and expensive federal bureaucracies have made a thick, diseased coating around what used to be the cheap, simple process of educating our young people.

It was never supposed to be this way: the Tenth Amendment bars the federal government from getting involved in local matters, chiefly education. Fed ed and fed aid are unconstitutional and never should have gotten the chance to damage our schools in the first place.

Sometimes, you can clean mold away and if it hasn't been growing too long, it'll stay away.

But sometimes, whatever has gotten moldy -- like last month's bologna -- is no good any more no matter what you do, and has to be thrown away.

Have our schools reached that stage?

Can you spell "Oscar Meyer"?

We don't need a whole bunch of new taxes and staff and assessment systems and all that kind of money-draining, time-wasting stuff to turn our schools from mold into gold.

We need to do one simple thing: privatize.

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