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Monday, March 13, 2006

Town Meeting And Education, Part II

After pledging allegience to the flag, which involves a claim that in the U. S. there is "liberty . . . for all", we ended up discussing the budget for the schools. The schools, of course, involve not liberty for all but coercion for all--compulsory attendance for the kids and coercive taxation for the adults. (Not to mention the threat of coercion by the teachers' union if contract negotiations break down.)

We spent a lot of time discussing whether to spend $40,000 on mosquito control and almost no time at all discussing whether to spend over $1.1 million on the elementary school (an increase of 10.7% over last year's budget!). Mind you, this is for a school of only about 100 students! (And, while the vote on mosquito control was by paper ballot, the vote on the school budget was by voice vote! Go figure!)

Meanwhile, Vermonters wonder why there are no jobs in Vermont for high school and college graduates (see this New York Times article [sr]). Could it be that after Vermonters have finished paying their school property taxes, they have little or no money left over to invest in Vermont's economy to create the needed jobs? Perhaps this is yet another reason to support the separation of school and state?

4 Comments:

Blogger Columbine said...

The problem is that there's more discussion when the school meeting is first, and then all the school parents leave. They have no interest in the town beyond demanding more and more money.

15/3/06 03:56  
Blogger aanimo said...

Taxation of any sort is coercion. But especially in this case. For example, as I am homeschooled, a tax does nothing to help me. While this might sound selfish, I am of the opinion that as I do not participate in the school, I do not benefit by the school, tax money left over would do people better if it were invested in the local economy, or even donated to the United Way or Red Cross -- especially since the amount of money being taken each year by the government is not needed to fund a small school of 100 students or so.

15/3/06 05:48  
Blogger Tad Pole said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

16/3/06 09:21  
Blogger Tad Pole said...

Thanks for your comments!

You might be interested in E. G. West's article, "Education Without The State" (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/egwest/pdfs/Education%20without%20the%20state.pdf).

Excerpt:

More sophisticated observers in the economic school of public choice are now viewing democracy as an institution operated largely by special interest groups, vote-maximising politicians and self-seeking bureaucracies, which do not represent the poor. Many scholars now conclude that the eventual dominant objective of government school systems is not to promote the greatest happiness of parents or children, or the most efficient schooling, but to transfer wealth to educators. In line with this view, education illustrates, indeed, one of the most glaring examples of rent-seeking--the extraction of privileges from government--that the world has ever seen.

16/3/06 09:25  

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