Under the Bus

I cant’ believe it!  Obsessed by financial profit, Republican legislators would throw Oregon children under the School Buy.  While teachers, perhaps the most crucial, underpaid and unappreciated profession, knock themselves out in outrageously oversize and extremely hard to manage classes, Conservatives who lay out $3 for a latte, $50 for lunch, $100 for Cabernet, or $100,000 for a month on St Kitts are loath to part with pennies for Oregon’s kids and future.

To properly fund a Public Education System variously ranked between thirty-third and fortieth of the fifty states and a graduation rate of seventy-seven percent, Oregon Democrats proposed a tax of 0.057% on business sales over $1 million, with subtractions for labor, capital costs and some businesses exempt.  Consider this: After a $1 million exemption and write offs, 0.057% of the remaining $100,000 is $5700 or 0.0052% of the original $1.1 million.  Pocket change for the effected businesses.  Republicans boycotted the bill.

With profit sacrosanct, they argue that business taxes inevitably pass to consumer.  Fair enough!  As beneficiaries of an up-scaled educational system, it is appropriate we all help pay the bill.

A couple of consequence to our failure to properly fund Oregon Public Education:  A half-century back, each fall my Mom, a widowed elementary teacher, drove two hundred miles to Utah-Idaho School Supply and spent her own meager income for educational material she considered necessary to supplement the bare-bones note book, pencil, crayons, and reading, arithmetic, spelling books supplied by the District.  Apart from a four hundred mile round trip, for many Oregon teachers this is still the case.

As we, the Public, abrogate our commitment to properly educate children the burden falls on parents.  Have you seen the list of school supplies they are expected to provide?  Oregon kids are barred from programs as fundamental as music, art, and athletics because parents can not afford to pay for them.

It’s Public Education folks!  Failure to prepare out children to contribute, indeed to survive as adults, leaves their and our future at serious risk.