Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education It's funny.  Laugh. Government United States News

School Super Asks Governor To Make His School District a Prison 505

Posted by Roblimo
from the go-directly-to-jail dept.
quipalicious writes "A Michigan school super asks the state governor to make his school district a prison, highlighting the various rights and privileges that prisoners get and public schooling students don't."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

School Super Asks Governor To Make His School District a Prison

Comments Filter:
  • Very well written (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gomiam (587421) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @07:56AM (#36318658)
    Sometimes I would like to be able to give +1 Insightful to articles outside Slashdot :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      We rank nationally at the top in the number of people we incarcerate. We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union

      In the business of government, that's called success. The more spending you can justify, the more you can leverage that cash flow for personal gain.

      Am I saying the people at the top of the pyramid are there purely for personal gain? You're damn right I am.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        And the harsh reality is that, since we started the "get tough on crime" attitude in the U.S. back in the early 80's, violent crime has seen a steady decline. Juvenile crime has dropped *dramatically*. And the juvenile crime drop started to *really* plummet about 12-15 years after the "get tough on crime" stuff started to hit the adult system (more adult scumbags locked up means less scumbags having kids to pass along their life of crime to).

        • And the harsh reality is that, since we started the "get tough on crime" attitude in the U.S. back in the early 80's, violent crime has seen a steady decline.

          1. Citation needed.

          2. (Favorite Slashdot Meme Alert) Correlation != Causation

          • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:40AM (#36320208)

            The numbers have been dropping since the mid-90's (as I said, about 12-15 years after the "get tough on crime" stuff began in the early 80's), From the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP):

            Here is the data [ojjdp.gov] from 1996 to 2000, showing a 15% drop in total juvenile arrests between 1996 and 2000.

            Here is the data [ojjdp.gov] from 1998-2008, showing a 16% drop in total juvenile arrests between 1998 and 2008.

            And, you're right, correlation is not causation. But SOMETHING is clearly changed. Juveniles born after the early 80's are much less likely to become juvenile delinquents than juveniles born before that period.

            • by cayenne8 (626475)

              Juveniles born after the early 80's are much less likely to become juvenile delinquents than juveniles born before that period.

              Maybe the juveniles of today, are too busy doing meth...

            • by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @10:00AM (#36320486)

              If you are tough on crime, this means, presumably, that you are arresting more people. Now, this means that the people locked up do not commit any more crimes while locked up (after is a function of whether your prison system makes sense or is just a relic of medieval thinking).

              The number of youth turning to crime, according to you, is a function of the number of criminals around them when they are growing up. Now if this were true, the crime rate would be significantly affected by the imprisonment rate, all over the world. But we find this to not be the case. Although locking people up does keep them off the street, it is a very costly and inefficient way of combating crime.

              Which is why the most likely explanation for the drop remains legalised abortion. It is not growing up around criminals which matters in particular, but growing up in difficult circumstances. Abortion prevents births in bad circumstances and allows mothers to only carry their pregnancy to term when it makes sense to them.

              Indeed, the drop would be observed not 12 years after the measures, but 17-18 (the human violence peak). Guess what happened at the end of the seventies?

              • by elrous0 (869638) *

                If legalized abortion were the root cause, shouldn't the drop have started around 1984 (12 years or so after Roe V. Wade)? In fact, there was a significant bump before the mid-90's, which suggests to me that abortion isn't it.

                • by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @10:23AM (#36320816)

                  No, 17-24 years after (yet a bit later in fact, because of delays in implementation). It has been argued that the bump is due to the introduction of crack. Australian, Canadian and Romanian studied have all concluded to the same effect of abortion.

                  And these are a good control, because the legalisations happenned at different times.

              • it's so much harder to wear a condom than have an abortion.

              • Also putting young people in prison is a very effective way to ensure that they hang out with plenty of criminals. It also gives them the chance to learn from the more experienced ones.

                One minor correction. People who are locked up likely do still commit crimes, but usually only against other inmates, not against the general public.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by tbannist (230135)

                Interestingly, the criticism section of the Wikipedia page on the impact of legalized abortion on crime [wikipedia.org] mentions that after adjusting for several valid criticisms the research indicates that the phasing out of lead-based gasoline additives may have had a larger effect than legalized abortion.

    • by digitalaudiorock (1130835) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:11AM (#36318814)
      Well written maybe, but the comparison is ridiculous. Of course it's expensive to keep people in prison. I mean they live there with access to nothing else. Is he suggesting, for example, that we don't provide health care for inmates? If he wants to gripe about prisons and money, complain about the fact that 2/3 of all that money is for people in prison on bullshit drug changes...there's your biggest waste of money.
      • by BeanThere (28381)

        He misses an important point, kids already get most of those things at home. Prisoners, on the other hand, *are* home. Also, I must say $7000 per student per year actually sounds like quite a lot to me. This doesn't seem like an argument to spend more on schools so much as it is one to spend less on prisoners. The reason we give prisons libraries is to try reform prisoners. If that expenditure lowers re-offending and re-incarceration rates by some measurable percentage, then it actually saves some money. It

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:22AM (#36318950) Journal

          Also, I must say $7000 per student per year actually sounds like quite a lot to me.

          Indeed. I went to an independent school in the UK, and the school fees were less than that, even accounting for inflation. This was a school that managed to pay its teachers well above average, to attract some of the best, and which had a wide range of extra curricular facilities.

          • That is a steal! The district I pay taxes to spends more than $17,000 per student. And the graduation rate is less than 50%.

            • As I said in the other post, I messed up the inflation calculation, so my figures are a bit off, but my old school now charges about $15000 per pupil per year. I suspect the costs are slightly lower than a comprehensive school, since intake is restricted to the top 20%, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could provide a good education for somewhere in the $10-12K ballpark. $17000 sounds excessive.

              Of course, the amount of funding is only part of the problem. Making sure that it is well spent is a larger

            • Re:Very well written (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @10:18AM (#36320728) Journal

              Believe it or not, I actually think that the two ($17,000 / 50%) are linked. If a kid doesn't want to learn, there is NO amount of money or effort that will change it. In this case, the harder you try, the harder it is to make any progress. You can't fix broken people who like being broken. This is a cultural problem.

              The only way to fix this is to fix the culture that allows this. But you can't because I can almost guarantee you is that this is a minority (ie not white) district, and if anyone mentions the culture is a failure they will be labeled "racist".If it is racist to suggest that such a culture is letting its children down, then yeah, I'm a racist.

              Let's help the damned kids and quit the stupid political correctness that says certain cultures are okay when they are failing their children. Next time someone calls racism when calling the ghetto/barrio/urban culture to task, stand up and be counted. To allow this kind of thing is the REAL racism.

          • Re:Very well written (Score:5, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:40AM (#36319242) Journal
            Actually, looking more closely, that's not true - my mental approximation of inflation was off by a long way. In the UK, state schools receive around $8700 per pupil and the fees for the school where I went are now a shade over $15000. My mother taught at a state school, and the funding was really tight (it's increased by about 85%, ignoring inflation, since then, about 50% factoring in inflation). So $7000 per pupil is probably below the minimum I would expect. My mother was having to teach classes of over 40 pupils, with one textbook between two and a lot of them so old that they were falling apart. With $7000, maybe they could afford a few new textbooks, but class sizes would still be too large.
          • I went to an independent school in the UK, and the school fees were less than that, even accounting for inflation.

            Being a product of a private school education myself, the tuition does not (usually) pay for all the costs of a school. The $7000 per student per year figure is total cost Tuition is a form of revenue which has nothing to do with cost. At the school I went to, tuition paid for about 2/3 of the school budget and the rest came from alumni donations, fundraisers, the state and various other sources. In public schools, tax revenues typically pays for all the costs.

            Actually $7000 per student per year is fair

        • by eln (21727) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:33AM (#36319122) Homepage
          Most kids in the worst-performing schools DON'T get that stuff at home. The worst performing schools are almost always in the poorest areas, and it's not because poor people are naturally stupid or because teachers in those schools are naturally incompetent.

          Parental involvement is the most significant single indicator of student success. Parental involvement also decreases as income decreases. Sometimes it's because parents have to work multiple jobs. Sometimes it's because the cycle of poverty creates despair which leads people to make bad decisions like turning to drugs and crime, which often lead them into our well-funded prison system. Schools have gotten worse as the gap between rich and poor has widened. This is not a coincidence.

          It's wrong to say all schools are failing. In wealthier districts, schools are by and large doing very well, even the public schools. The ultimate solution to repairing schools is reducing that gap between rich and poor back to a more reasonable level. Unfortunately, since any attempt to help the poor is seen as socialism and there's a pervasive feeling in this country that poor people are poor for a reason and don't deserve any help, we debate endlessly over symptoms rather than fighting the root cause.
          • by Methuseus (468642)

            The problem is the wealthier districts are less than 25% of schools. My parents live in an area with a middle-of-the-road median income, but they're cutting every program at the schools because nobody wants to pay the taxes required. And yes, this includes some multi million dollar homes.

          • Re:Very well written (Score:4, Interesting)

            by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday June 02, 2011 @10:54AM (#36321204) Homepage Journal

            Parental involvement is the most significant single indicator of student success.

            That's true, but how can a semi-literate parent help his kid learn how to read? How can someone barely numerate help his kid learn how to do math? How can a parent working two jobs involve himself with his kids much? And then there are the kids with alcoholic parents, or the kids in foster care.

            And I discovered when my kids were in school that the educators' idea of "parental involvement" was joining in fund raising efforts, but try to engage the teachers in dialogue and you're just getting in the way.

            Things haven't changed much if any since the 1950s. In 12 years of public school, I had three good teachers (luckily my first grade teacher was excellent). The rest were mediocre to downright incompetent. Once I learned to read I didn't learn anything in school I hadn't already read until I reached college. One high school English teacher gave me an F on a paper because she thought I made up the word "hierarchy". A science teacher gave me an A on a paper because he didn't understand it, it was way over his head. And this was a middle class town. Ironically (or maybe not so ironically), the town's now a crime-ridden ghetto.

            Public schools suck, at least in Illinois.

            • by david_thornley (598059) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @12:09PM (#36322140)

              Parental involvement goes beyond coaching or influencing the kids' teachers.

              Parental involvement, at its most basic, means caring how the kid does in school, and making that clear to the kid. In the early stages of formal education, the child will be much more influenced by what his or her parents think than his or her peers, so it's a good idea to involve the kid in the process early.

              If the parent is encouraging the kid to learn, doing even modest support like arranging a time and place for homework, that's good. If the parent is indifferent or even hostile to school and grades, that's bad.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          kids already get most of those things at home

          Not all of them. Kids from lower class working families don't get health care or internet access, let alone freeweights and nautilus machines. If it wasn't for LINK (which the Richpublicans would like to eliminate) they wouldn't get fed well, either.

          The letter was tongue in cheek, of course. The point being made was that Michigan is at the top of per prisoner spending, the bottom of per student spending, and that's ass-backwards. Especially considering that priso

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            Yes the point of the letter was that it is stupid to protect the budget of prisons while cutting the education budget. I have told people time and time again you have two choices. You can pay for better schools or bigger prisons. I also think a good start would be two reverse the old actions of desegregation at the Elementary school level.
            Ideally I feel that small Elementary schools and they should serve students within a small radius is the correct structure for elementary aged education. The elementary sc

        • Re:Very well written (Score:4, Interesting)

          by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:56AM (#36319478)

          He misses an important point, kids already get most of those things at home.

          And what if they don't? Cutting welfare and cutting schooling at the same time will guarantee that some people who had those at home or at school will get them in neither place. What, we shouldn't provide for the poor because they had to have done something to deserve it?

          Also, I must say $7000 per student per year actually sounds like quite a lot to me.

          It is. Less than half of that goes to education. Things like No Child Left Behind take up the rest. The unfunded mandates, paperwork to go with them, standardized tests, and all that require massive administrative overhead. We've gotten to the point where more money is spend on overhead than the children, and it's only getting worse.

          And, since the anti-school crowd focuses on teachers (teacher unions, teacher pay, teacher tenure, etc.) the anti-school crowd is doing a pretty good job of directly harming children in their quest for tax cuts for the rich. They aren't even focusing on the real waste (all the administration required by the long list of standards and requirements on public schools that aren't laid on private schools), but instead focus on things purposefully designed to increase overhead while harming the children. It's a concerted effort to sabotage public school in order to push vouchers.

        • by mikael (484)

          In the UK, boarding fees for a private school, were something like 20K pounds/year, while prison costs for an inmate are around 45K/year, due to all the additional security: guards, CCTV, inspections, basic health regulations (minimum and maximum temperature ranges, free newspaper (a href="http://www.insidetime.org/">Inside Time . The cost is higher due to the Victorian architecture as well.

          It is a commentary that prisoners get better treatment than pensioners due to human rights legislation - they could

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        The documentary "Waiting for Superman" is well worth the watch. It's available on Netflix streaming. (Not sure about Hulu, RedBox, or any other service.)
        • by jeek (37349)

          Sounds interesting. Can I borrow your password? ( I swear I don't live in Tennessee. )

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        There was actually an article somewhere saying that politically it's better for a county to spend money on prisons rather than schools, because prisons provide better jobs for prison contractors, and brings in more state funding. So it's actually financially advantageous for a county to let schools flounder so the deadbeat students become inmates and drive up the high-paying prison jobs.

        Just sayin.

    • by neoshroom (324937)

      What? Very well written?! The letter had some glaring errors.

      One solution I believe we must do is take a look at our corrections system in Michigan.

      You implement a solution. You consider a solution. You don't "do a solution."

      We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union.

      You spend more money than any other state. You spend the most out of all the states. You do not spend the *most than* any other state...sigh...

      They get three square meals a day. Access to free he

    • I find myself using actually slashdot moderation speak outside of, including the phrase "+1 Informative" in a reply to a post or somesuch.

  • Schools are Prisons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:00AM (#36318700)

    Public school teachers are in much the same position as prison wardens. Wardens' main concern is to keep the prisoners on the premises. They also need to keep them fed, and as far as possible prevent them from killing one another. Beyond that, they want to have as little to do with the prisoners as possible, so they leave them to create whatever social organization they want. From what I've read, the society that the prisoners create is warped, savage, and pervasive, and it is no fun to be at the bottom of it.

    In outline, it was the same at the schools I went to. The most important thing was to stay on the premises. While there, the authorities fed you, prevented overt violence, and made some effort to teach you something. But beyond that they didn't want to have too much to do with the kids. Like prison wardens, the teachers mostly left us to ourselves. And, like prisoners, the culture we created was barbaric.

    from "Why Nerds are Unpopular [paulgraham.com]"

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      In outline, it was the same at the schools I went to. The most important thing was to stay on the premises. While there, the authorities fed you, prevented overt violence, and made some effort to teach you something.

      Yeah well, now they often don't feed you and when they do it is usually worse than what prisoners eat. In some cases schools have been caught serving meat not fit for human consumption to students because they literally cannot afford anything else. They don't prevent overt violence, either; they just send it out of their classroom. There's plenty of opportunities for it on the grounds.

      In Santa Cruz there is a school called Prison Hill, by the students. The sign says Mission Hill. The property is roughly tri

  • he's not very good at writing English.

    We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union.

    Yes, I know, cheap shot. Also IDK if school superintendants are usually teachers. But if he is, that doesn't bode well for his students.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're not very good at writing English.

      For a school superintendant [sic]

      Yes, I know, cheap shot. Also IDK if Slashdot commenters are usually this pedantic. But if they are, that doesn't bode well for this thread.

    • by berashith (222128)

      I thought you were being a bit nit-picky, but the next sentence is this ...

      Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking that I don’t believe Michigan wants to be on top of.

      At least the commas decided to show up this time, but the preposition at the end... ugh

      Aside from the horrible presentation of the argument, I really like the point that is being made.

      • by jguevin (453329)

        Really? You think he should have said "Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking on top of which I donâ(TM)t believe Michigan wants to be"?

        This sort of awkward construction is exactly why many experts on grammar have recently dismissed the "no preposition at the end" rule as an artificial restriction introduced thoughtlessly by 19th-century grammarians. I was taught as you were--but sometimes the rules we were taught are wrong.

        • by berashith (222128)

          or just take a second or two to reconstruct the whole thing .... Now, there are times that I want to be number one, but I believe Michigan wants to be at the top of this list.

          The completed prepositional phrase make a little bit of sense, and I spent almost no time re-phrasing this. Ending the sentence with the word "of" just looks and sounds bad. I can forgive a lot of these issues, and maybe this should be relaxed, but when you are the head of a large budget, writing a public letter to a Governor of a stat

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by poor_boi (548340)

        It is not incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. Citation: every single link on the first page of search results:

        http://www.google.com/m?q=ending+sentence+with+preposition [google.com]

        • As Winston Churchill said, 'that is the kind of language up with which I will not put.'
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Most of modern day english was "incorrect" before it became common in usage - english is an evolving language, suck it up.

          • by berashith (222128)

            I am not correcting someone speaking in the vernacular. This is a letter to a governor. Take a second to make it look like you took some time thinking about what you want to say, and care about its presentation.

            • by AK Marc (707885)
              And it looks like he did. So where's the problem? People are bitching more about style than anything else, and perhaps a kludgy sentence here or there where he was obviously mixing fact dropping and making a point at the same time. So I have to wonder if those complaining about the English are wont to do so because of their feelings about the subject.
      • At least the commas decided to show up this time, but the preposition at the end... ugh

        "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."
        Winston Churchill

    • by pla (258480)
      Yes, I know, cheap shot. Also IDK if school superintendants are usually teachers. But if he is, that doesn't bode well for his students.

      Nope... Purely political position, and one usually outright antagonistic to actual teaching staff.
    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      It's strange, but after enough time spent on the internet, I just parse through sentences like this without blinking now. Upon second glance I notice the errors- but ordinarily when I read, I am reading for comprehension and extraction- not grammar. Or it could be all the time I spend in a second language- that I am constantly simply trying to comprehend and not validate grammar.
    • by snl2587 (1177409)
      That sentence is perfectly clear, and gets his point across. I mean, you could surround "annually" with commas, but who cares?
    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      Not his fault! he got his education in Michigan schools.
  • by TimeElf1 (781120)
    I grew up near Ithaca, MI. It's out in the middle of BFE. I can't really see him being superintendent for much longer though ballsy move but not really smart.
  • Clever but inane (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SniperJoe (1984152) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:06AM (#36318754)
    While I appreciate the point that the superintendent was trying to make (especially given the relative funding difference per person), I'm sure that the students would have some things to say about being forced to remain inside the school for 24 hours a day. Prisons spend so much money and provide items such as health care, exercise facilities and food because those people are forced to be there. You can't really just offer lunch in prison. Besides, I think the dollar argument is disingenuous. Comparing dollar figures for people that are in prison 24 hours a day / 365 days a year to those that are in school for 180 days a year / 8 hours a day on a per capital basis isn't exactly fair. From the article itself, $35,000 a year for a prisoner divided by 8,760 hours (24 hours * 365 days) is roughly $4.00 an hour. $7,000 a year for a student divided by 1,440 hours (8 hours * 180 days) is $4.86 per hour. By that metric, they are spending 22% MORE per student on an hourly basis than they are on a prisoner.
    • I would mod you up had I the points. It is disingenuous, and really to me all it indicates is how much egregious waste there is in the corrections system.
    • And no cable TV (Score:3, Informative)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      The old "these guys sit around all day watching cable TV" crap is also a tired old myth. AFAIK, no mainstream prison system in the country offers prisoners cable TV (some will allow a prisoner to purchase a small TV for their cell on their own dime and watch whatever over-the-air broadcasts they can get). And, far from sitting around, all juvenile prisoners in the U.S. go to school every day (just like their non-prison counterparts) and most adult prisoners have some sort of job (either in the prison or, fo

      • by spinkham (56603)

        Can you cite sources about the job claim?

        Most prisons I've seen(in VA), the punishment is the monotony of nothing to do, ever. They're basically indoor cattle pens for people, and that's how the people in them feel.

        You can see Morgan Spurlock go to a VA jail for a month in "30 Days", season 2, episode 6. Preview on Hulu [hulu.com] and available on DVD and instant streaming on Netflix.

    • by dachshund (300733)

      Prisons spend so much money and provide items such as health care, exercise facilities and food because those people are forced to be there.

      Prisons provide healthcare and food for free because prisoners are forced to be in prison, thus preventing them from earning their own money to pay for those items. Similarly, school is a full-time requirement for those under 18 (or 16, anyone know what the law is in Michigan?) and also prevents you from holding a full time job (let's put child labor laws aside). So i

    • by c6gunner (950153)

      While I agree with your overall point, breaking it down on a per-hour basis seems disingenuous because the cost doesn't scale that way. It doesn't cost much to lock prisoners in their cell for 8 hours during the night.

    • More importantly, all he really does is point out that Michigan spends way too much on its prison population.
    • I think you're missing the point.

      Why are we willing to pay for these things, out of our taxes, for criminals in jail - but not for schoolchildren?

      Why is it that when somebody is in prison we're willing to all chip in to make sure they've got access to food/clothing/shelter/healtchare/education/etc... But when they're free like the rest of us, it's their problem, and it's just too bad if they can't afford food/clothing/shelter/healtchare/education/etc.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Cogent point, but I think you simply skipped over one of the significant arguments.

      "Prisons spend so much money and provide items such as health care, exercise facilities and food because those people are forced to be there. You can't really just offer lunch in prison"

      Well, that's the point, isn't it? That prisoners are cared-for to a degree that even comes close to compare to that of our students is obscene.

      Prison should not be a place where we care for the incarcerated as if they are disaster victims tha

  • ...your teachers and principals were tough!

  • Was anyone else reminded of The Simpsons episode where they did this?

    Didn't work out so well for them.

  • by OhPlz (168413) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:14AM (#36318860)

    Does this guy know what public schools are for? They're for education. If people don't have a roof over their head, they get public housing. If people don't get three meals, they get food stamps or go to the local soup kitchen. If they don't have access to a fitness center, they get the Y. Want to earn a degree? Earn some scholarships, grants, or go the loan route, or get out into industry and go to night school. Books and computers? Public libraries typically have those.

    It sounds like he does actually want to make a prison, because prison is likely the only place you'll find all that together. That doesn't mean they're not provided to the non-incarcerated. This type of thinking sends the school systems down the path of being replacement parents. That should not be our end goal.

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:43AM (#36319292)

      From the fine article:

      This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!

      Depending on the child's family, and the location of the school, many of these things are not available.

      There is no assurance that anybody is going to have a roof over their head. Sure, there are public housing programs, but they aren't a sure thing. They're chronically underfunded. I guess there are homeless shelters, too, but they aren't any better funded.

      There is no assurance that anybody is going to get three meals a day. Yup, the food stamps program exists - again, chronically underfunded. And with lots of hoops to jump through. And there aren't soup kitchens everywhere.

      Fitness center - you want them to go to the Y? You realize the Y isn't free, right? YMCA membership around here is ridiculously expensive. It's cheaper just to sign up at some other health club.

      Earn a degree - scholarships, grants, loans, night school... None of those are guaranteed. Lots of competition for limited scholarships and grants. And several of the banks in my area have stopped offering student loans.

      Books and computer - public library. Well, that's nice if you have a public library. And if that library actually has computers and a decent selection of books. Again though, they're chronically underfunded.

      It sounds like he does actually want to make a prison, because prison is likely the only place you'll find all that together. That doesn't mean they're not provided to the non-incarcerated. This type of thinking sends the school systems down the path of being replacement parents. That should not be our end goal.

      These things are apparently important enough that they're provided for prisoners. Nobody says "I'm sorry you can't earn enough money to pay for your own health care, it's your problem" when you're a prisoner. And yet, if you aren't a prisoner, that's basically the response. Same thing goes for pretty much everything else you mention.

      So, culturally, we think healthcare is essential enough to provide it to the people we've locked away from the rest of us... But we don't think it's essential enough to make sure that our schoolchildren have it no matter what...

      Seems a little messed up to me.

      • There is no assurance that anybody is going to have

        ...any of that stuff. I used to think I was underprivileged because my dad loved the bottle more than he loved me and wasn't around except to deliver some occasional emotional abuse for some birthdays or rare Christmases, but that was when I lived in Aptos. Then I moved to Capitola (but on the edge of Santa Cruz, really... not the nice part, more kind of in a ravine) and started hanging out with kids who had to steal to eat, or who had run away from home and lived in a squat and spanged for their food because someone was touching them or beating them at home. I went to school with some of these kids. The absolutely horrendous school lunch (bless your heart, Joan, I know you did what you could with the tiny amount of budget you had, but I think some of that stuff is still stuck to my intestines) was the most nutritious thing some of them ate all day.

        So, culturally, we think healthcare is essential enough to provide it to the people we've locked away from the rest of us... But we don't think it's essential enough to make sure that our schoolchildren have it no matter what...

        You can pretty much run right through all these supposed "human" rights guaranteed in the constitution, and then compare that to the laws pertaining to minors, and the only conclusion you can possibly come to is that we do not believe children to be humans.

    • by Wiarumas (919682)
      The point being made is that as a country we are still spending $40,000 per inmate whenever schools across the country gets their budget slashed. My former High School had to lay off 40% of the teachers and are now teaching the kids in classrooms of 50 students. Its a satirical piece that while students are being sacrificed for the budget, prisons still have cable television and accessible health care. Its a call for more progressive thinking: cut the prison's budget before going after education.
    • The purpose of the modern education system is to precisely be replacement parents so that the real parents can be off being "productive members of society" in factories/cube farms.

      And I think the Principals implication was that a lot of kids weren't getting those things despite their ostensibly being programmes out there. Also I doubt your local public library is funded well enough to provide access to thousands of computers and TEXT books (that is what he was talking about, not novels, a lot of districts a

  • Hey Republicans: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <erauqssemitelcric>> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:19AM (#36318922) Homepage Journal

    If you don't fund public education, what do you think the kids will do?

    I mean, they've committed the crime of being born poor.Obviously, only people who can afford private school should be able to educate their kids, right? This must be the meritocracy I keep hearing you talk about. You do understand a true meritocracy requires you to SPEND to make sure everyone starts out on equal footing right? Oh i"m sorry, nevermind, that's "socialism."

    Oh I agree, there is a lot of waste in the system and teachers and administrators are paid too well with too many perks. But with that valid complaint, instead of trying to REFORM where public school funds go, you just want to defund it. Those evil poor people, trying to get educated. Tsk, tsk. Let us keep our focus on where our concerns should naturally be: keeping taxes low for the rich. Those poor rich, people trying to rob them of the money they made completely by themselves, without any input from the infrastructure their country made possible, right? (The country they SAY they love.)

    Anyway: I'll tell you what those kids will do without good public education: they'll become criminals. You've taught them with your priorities that poor Americans should hurry up and die as far as you are concerned (healthcare anyone?). With that kind of leadership, the poor will hear you loud and clear and return the amount of respect you give them: it's not about helping each other as Americans, it's about "I got mine already, so fuck you." That's a perfect segue to a gun in your backside and a request for your wallet, no? You reap what you sow Republicans. The quality of your society is dictated by your policies and your attitudes towards your fellow American.

    See, the funny thing about education costs, healthcare costs, is that if you don't pay these expenses, they don't just go away. They still COST you, but in terms of the quality of the society you live in instead. What, too "socialist" for you? Reality. Learn it.

    Of course, Republicans are "tough on crime." So this principle will get what he wants in jest, in reality: more prisons, less schools. No costs there, right Republicans? It's what the poor deserve: prisons, not schools, right? Tells us all we need to know about your love for your country and your fellow citizens. Just stop believing anyone buys your lies anymore, you selfish shortsighted assholes.

    • by Tom (822)

      Oh I agree, there is a lot of waste in the system and teachers and administrators are paid too well with too many perks.

      Are you certain about that, as in can you put reasons and numbers to it?

      Because unless the US is dramatically different from Europe, there is no truth to that. My sister is a teacher and my girlfriend is becoming one. I know I wouldn't work the hours it requires for that kind of money. You are aware that a teachers work day is far from over when he leaves school, yes? And that the holidays are for the pupils, not the teachers?

  • First of all, juvenile prisons actually have their own schools (sometimes their own special school districts), and those schools are often even more poorly funded than public schools (since they don't have a property tax base to rely on). Most of the money for juvenile justice agencies and their facilities goes toward security, probation/parole supervision, facilities maintenance, etc. NOT just for education (as this letter writer seems to presume). And some adult prison systems don't have any real educatio

  • ...that Jonathan Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal?" I mean, I've seen some people make rather ham-handed attempts at a satirical suggestion, and everyone goes 'Yeah, yeah, Modest Proposal, uh-huh," but are folks on /. actually thinking this guy is being anything but satirical? Yeesh.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Satire is for Onion articles, not open letters to your boss.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If he'd had one tenth of Swift's skill at writing, then perhaps it might have come off.

      Also, if you're going to pay homage today, you have to just go ahead and take a bite. Entertainment dies a little every time a sequel reuses a line verbatim in exactly the same way and place, or when someone explains an in joke that could be found out by anyone with patience and google. But you pretty much have to beat people over the head with stuff and then they laugh anyway. Idiocracy FTW.

  • This has to be one of the stupidest comparisons I've heard in a while. Children are not prisoners. The intended goals are different from the start. We must, out of necessity, keep prisoners confined at all times, for the safety of society. Things like TV, libraries and weight rooms are not luxuries, but investments, because studies have shown that if you stick a violent psychopath into a cell for 20 years, you get a violent psychopath out. These things are intended to help reduce the recidivism rate for cri
  • Can't say I can see any holes in his reasoning. If we even spent half the money on our children as we do on our prisoners, there would be no issue with America's future. But we don't. So there are huge concerns.

  • By pointing out that the kids were likely to end up in prison, thus receiving what they need, he made his argument moot.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

Working...