Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Today’s Legislative Education Committee hearing at the Capitol in Lincoln will take up LB’s 223 and 378. The first bill would create the School Finance Review Committee, and the second would create the Commission on School Finance.

Ooh! Goodie! Fiscal accountability for the biggest user of our tax dollars in the state, our public schools!

NOT! This would be a great thing only if the appointees were to be taxpayer watchdogs, CPAs, bankers, investment counselors, purchasing agents and others with financial expertise from the private sector.

But noooooo: by design, in these bills, it’d be educrats, school administrators, politicians and union wonks. Wonder what THEIR financial review of schools will show? Duhhhh: “schools need more money.” Riiiiiight.

Why not just call this “The Board of Rubber Stamps”?

Think about it: what private corporation handling over a billion dollars a year, like Nebraska’s schools, has an oversight board made up totally of employees and others with snouts in the trough? For heaven’s sake.

A board like this is much-needed. But it would effective only if it had neutral, disinterested and qualified people on it who can truly represent the people who sign all those checks, which, last time I checked, is we the peeps.

A much smarter move: institute spot-check performance audits by a professional, financial SWAT team from the private sector that reports to an elected official, not edu-wonks. Then we’d be cookin’.

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