We are broke. (A song for the dumped)

Minnesota has ran out of money. I guess there’s no big suprise there as many states have ran out of money due to increased spending and lower amounts taken in by taxes due to the recession. (both sales taxes and payroll taxes are down)

The Strib reports State may force schools to lend it $1B

In a sign of the gravity of the state’s fiscal crisis, Minnesota budget officials may force public school districts to loan the state money so that it can continue paying its bills.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration could withhold nearly $1 billion in state aid payments to public schools through May, to ensure the state’s checkbook doesn’t run dry, under a plan unveiled Wednesday at a legislative committee meeting.

The state already has the legal authority to do so, although it has never exercised it.

The state has never exercised it’s right to do this, but now it’s under strong consideration. That is broke. I don’t know how many times it’s been considered, but I can’t recall any. My gut instinct tells me to go get some numbers and point out the insane spending policies that have dovetailed with the poor economy and brought us to the brink of bankruptcy, but prior posts have lead me to believe that numbers just get in the way. It seems the only number people are interested in is “more”. More money for police will stop crime! Hell, we almost have this drug war won. So let’s throw some more money for prisons. More money for trains! More money for planes! More money for automobiles! More money for stadiums! More money for everything!

Well, except for anything that helps people. We don’t want to be a welfare state, after all.

Meanwhile Minnesota Public Radio’s question of the day is “How could Minnesota schools get and keep the best teachers?” To which I respond

This is a false choice as Minnesota does have the best teachers. Our teachers can go anywhere and teach and are sought after across the country.

There are multiple issues here, one is that funding keeps getting cut and the first thing to be cut along with funding are the teachers,typically the youngest and most enthused about teaching.

So often, after years of trying to get a stable job teachers simply give up and switch professions which is, in part, responsible for the average career of a teacher being 3-5 years in Minnesota.

We don’t have a teacher talent issue in this state, we do have an administration problem. Administrators that work in a revolving door world where each new big boss decides to impliment some new teaching philosophy and by the time things start to roll a new Big Boss comes to town. Wash rinse and repeat.

We also have a problem with parents that have checked out on their children, but there’s no way the state can legislate a cure for that.

We also have a problem with NCLB.

Sure, there are a lot of problems with the Minnesota Eductional System, but teacher talent is not one of them.

*Note, I am not a teacher.

Suprise, suprise the predominant answer boils down to “pay teachers more money”

I guess if we paid teachers more money the state would have more money it could withhold in order to keep things running.

Is that a system we can all get behind?

Cynical much?

Here’s a little song for our hard working gov’t officials.

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