Friday, May 20, 2005
IS THIS THE DAY THE MUSIC DIES FOR NEBRASKA’S SMALL SCHOOLS?
Speaking of actions by educrats that are contradictory to what educational evidence shows is best for kids . . . word has it that they’re ready to fish or cut bait in the Legislature on the most divisive and difficult issue of this session.
It’s LB 126, the silver bullet that would kill Nebraska’s 231 small country school districts. They would be forced into what the educrats looooove to call “governance” by the urban K-12 districts. The word “governance” to an educrat is like the word “chocolate” to the rest of us. In other words, they would come under educrat control more tightly and lose their freedom and individuality.
Bye, bye, another slice of American pie. It makes me really sad.
The attempt to close the state’s small schools comes in the face of mounting evidence nationwide that smaller schools are better for kids than larger ones. That’s true in everything from academics, to opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, to strong relationships with teachers, to safety.
It’s why I am among those who would urge the thousands of Class I parents whose schools would be nuked by this bill that, if it passes, don’t worry, be happy . . . just form a private school and get out from under these guys altogether. They’ve shown they don’t care what you think is best for your kids, anyway. So why keep dancin’ with them? Become do-it-yourself’ers. Keep on providing quality education -- even though it’ll cost you a lot of money – because it’s worth it.
State senators who have been trying to help the Class I parents keep their schools open have said that the pro-consolidation forces, led by Sen. Ron Raikes of Lincoln, will brook no dissent and have a full head of steam to get this done.
Look for the union label on this bill, bigtime: the real reason behind the big push is to move the Class I teachers into the town-school personnel pools to raise the union pay scale “basis” for teachers statewide. It’s kept down somewhat by the relatively smaller salaries that are acceptable in small towns where job options are much fewer. But it’ll be bye-bye, reasonably sane pay scales, if this takes place. And that’ll hurt all of us who pay taxes.
However, the Class I proponents said many senators have been influenced by the fervent grassroots efforts of the Class I community, and may be able to stave off at least an immediate homicide of the traditional small schools.
It has been instructive and inspiring to monitor their lobbying efforts on their blog, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/class_1s_united Hats off to them for mounting a good campaign.
Check out these two links provided by the Class I blog with good information on the benefits of small schools:
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