Friday, April 18, 2003
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, NORTHEAST NEBRASKA:
RESPONSE TO SEN. MAXWELL'S PLAN
Say we have 1,000 students in the state. Say we have $100,000 to spend in state aid.
What say, we send each of them $1,000.
But someone else says, "It only costs $600 in Plattsmouth and the burden is $1,400 in Taylor, because they only have enough students to average 15 per class."
It is an impossible task to equalize educational resources and opportunities with mindsets like that. What we need is a willingness to be fair and impartial, and then use that good, old-fashioned American ingenuity to make it work in every district.
And I say, knock down a wall between the third- and fourth-grade classes, and then do the same in all classes in odd and even years. How do I know that will work? The smartest, best-educated, best-adjusted people I have ever known were my parents, who both attended one-room schools. It isn't the dollars spent per pupil. It's the ability to do the best you can for kids with whatever resources you have, and those are too small for the way you've been doing things, you have to change.
The problem is that every senator feels a need to appease and try and represent his district and the other 48 at the same time. The Unicameral is not King Arthur's Round Table; it is a legislative body that has forgotten to focus on the needs of its constituency.
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