Monday, March 22, 2010

Short Term Solutions

Oh, Arizona. Land of my childhood. Why worry about long term effects when the budget needs cutting now, especially when you won't even consider doing anything to increase revenue? In case you're wondering, the state legislature just voted to eliminate full day kindergarten in the state.

The state was facing a huge budget gap and full day kindergarten seemed like a pretty good target. After all, several state legislators thought it amounted to little more than "taxpayer-funded all-day baby-sitting." That's right. Kindergarten is just babysitting. No educational value at all. That research showing that it helps prepare kids to read and write better? Totally bogus. I guess that's the argument at least.

On the bright side, this will probably provide less opportunity for kindergarteners to exercise their rights to bring guns to school. What a state.

The sad part is that this same calculus is being repeated all across the country (the cutting schools part, not the arming children bit). As states look to trim budgets, they go after schools, colleges, etc. To an extent, that makes sense. As Willie Sutton might say, "it's where the money is." Presto bingo, budget deficit closed.

But then what?

Cutting education funding may help in the short term, but then you have less educated people contributing less to the workforce and bringing down the state for a whole generation.

Of course, that doesn't bother the Arizona legislators. They'll be long out of office by that point. Arizona has term limits, after all.

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