From the Holy Book of Teacheriah, an Epistle to the Unionians, chapter 5, verses 5-10:
5 And in that great and last day, there shall be a famine of public-sector budgets in the land, and the houses of learning shall be in mighty want;
6 And there shall arise many great heroes, like unto the saints of old, who shall go forth armed with self righteous power to do battle with the Anti-Nice, that fiend who fails to respond to demands for funding, and his legion of dragons, the Fiscally Conservative Beast;
7 But lo, and verily, those Holy Activists, clothed with authority by virtue of their indignation, shall cleanse the lepers and raise the dead, and they shall multiply the few scant dollars in the treasury to become many millions, that thus the ancient bureaucracy may continue to thrive;
I sent the following as a letter to the Las Vegas Review-Journal a week ago. Apparently, they didn’t want to run it, so here it is:
There has been much sound and fury of late from well-meaning Nevadans regarding Governor Sandoval’s proposed budget cuts to education, but in their zeal they may have set up a tragedy.
Many of my fellow teachers and parents have been saying that these budget cuts would prove disastrous to education in Nevada. Dire predictions of doom and gloom abound that, should the budget cuts materialize, Nevada students would be condemned to eternal ignorance.
Perhaps they’re exaggerating to emphasize their point, but can’t these academic Jeremiahs see the danger of their hyperbole? If these budget cuts do pass, what message has this community now sent to our students? Might young people pick up on the idea that their fate has been sealed, and that further effort is hopeless? Might the economic situation, at the very least, be used by some as an excuse for failure?
Lobbying for schools is noble, but hopefully the fatalism so prominent in this conversation won’t turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.