Teachers, parents, and taxpayers are in an uproar over the recent DISD decision to close 11 schools. See recent coverage of this by Dallas Morning News (http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20120129-editorial-six-disd-trustees-make-a-courageous-choice.ece) and The Observer (http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2012/01/disd_school_closings.php).
Note that these controversial actions only cover $11.5 million of a $25 million budget shortfall.
On a local and personal level, it is easy to understand how teachers and students could feel disrupted, unheard, and undervalued. However, poor management of DISD is the inevitable result of the moral hazard that occurs when unpaid administrators spend other people’s money.
Some blame “evil-spirited” DISD trustees, some blame Rick Perry, others blame state legislators who cut education funding.
I found it interesting to read in the comments to the Observer article that when “Robin Hood” funding was enacted, the Plano ISD paid out more to the state than it took in. I believe this was the intent of the Robin Hood proponents. Now what do you suppose happened next? Bingo, PISD responded rationally by lowering their tax rates. Now they receive more than they pay. When it is always “with someone else’s money”, this is the inevitable result.
Here is what the National LP platform has to say regarding Education:
“Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.”