Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ballot Measure 1 Report out

The legislative committee charged with fulfilling the requirements of Ballot Measure 1 (which requires the legislature to "adequately" fund schools or issue a report explaining why they couldn't) is now complete.

The verdict: they legislature fell a scant $1.8 billion dollars short of giving the schools what the Quality Education Commission says is necessary to provide sufficient alms to all the school employee unions.

That's $1.8 billion more than the $5.3 billion allocated to K-12! They want 33% more than the schools received.

And what would we get if we shorted every other part of the budget to cough up the dough? The Quality Education Commission says that if we fund the schools to that level, then 90% of Oregon students would meet state standards. OK, fine. Certainly they'd be willing to give us some guarantee, right? Maybe fire every administrator whose school didn't meet the 90% benchmark?

Uh, well, no. Just give us the money. No guarantee on outcome. That according to Lynn Lundquist, the architect of the entire scam. Quoting from the Oregonian:

Lundquist "agreed that outcomes are not guaranteed, but he said the commission's list of resources and practices needed in quality schools is a good one. And if there's no relation between spending and outcomes, he said, why not cut school spending in half?"

Basically: "Trust us. Give us the money, but don't expect us to be accountable for it. What do you think we are - public servants? You got it wrong, taxpayers ..... you serve us."

And I especially love the suggestion of cutting school spending in half - that is precisely what charter schools have basically done - and many of them are indeed meeting the 90% goal, operating on roughly half of the per-student all funds budget of the local school district.


Kaganov said...

I was listening to Dr. Phillips' press conference this morning about closing schools.

Did I hear her say that she wants to provide an "equitable outcome" for her students???

Ken said...

Rob, I believe Ron Saxton was the co-founder of the "Coalition For School Funding Now!" which advocated full funding of the Quality Education Model. I'm assuming you're endorsing him because you feel his views most closely correlate with yours on education, but I don't understand how that equates, considering his advocacy for full funding of a "scam," as you call it.

Rob Kremer said...

I'm not sure if Ron was a co-founder, but I do recall that he supported some of their efforts when he was a school board member.

Since that time Ron's views on such things have evolved. He doesn't think more money is the answer for what ails the schools.

Just yesterday he spoke about the school funding lawsuit to the Taxpayers Association group, and said in no uncertain terms that the problem isn't lack of money but rather how the money is allocated (PERS being an obvious misallocation but by no means the only one.)

So, it doesn't concern me that a candidate held views and took positions in the past that I disagree with, as long as I am convinced that his or her change of views is heartfelt and sincere.

With Ron, I am convinced, because I was part of his evolution. I've had many discussions and dealings with him over the years since he was on the PPS board.

I saw firsthand how the ever worsening state of not just the schools but also the state budget, PERS, land use system, etc., resulted in Ron realizing that the status quo is a path to disaster.

I know all the Atkinson bloggers want to say that Ron's evolution is a craven political calculation and that the more liberal positions he had in the past are still reflective of his true views now. I guess that is how they think they will help their guy.

But I know Ron. He's going to govern just as he says he will. There's a reason why bonafide conservatives such as Don McIntyre, Brian Boquist, Wayne Scott, Jeff Kropf and Lars are endorsing Ron.

And it isn't because we are all dupes.

Ken said...

Rob, I mostly appreciate your response, particularly your explanation that you were "part of his evolution," as I did not know that part. Unlike some of my conservative blogger colleagues, I don't have that big a problem with someone who evolves over time -- I was a liberal Democrat just 15 years ago -- though I find it's tougher to vote for someone with that sort of evolution, especially over a shorter time period.

I have to admit to be being a bit amused, however, by your last three paragraphs. Are you feeling a bit beat up about your support of Saxton? I never said anything about "craven political calculation" or called you a "dupe." I think questions about the policy positions in a candidate's recent past are entirely fair game, especially when we're talking about the state's chief executive; when the candidate says the past is irrelevant (or chooses not to address those issues), some will believe him and some won't.

That's not calling anyone a dupe. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I disrespect you. I simply used your word ("scam") to ask a question that didn't jive.

Rob Kremer said...

Ken, I wasn't saying you had called anyone a dupe, or said Saxton's evolution was craven.

I was referring to the Atkinson bloggers who have said just that repeatedly and have gone to great lengths to portray Ron as a liberal.

My wording seems pretty clear, rereading it. I'm glad you are amused though!

Ken said...

My apologies for misreading your words -- to me, it seemed you were jumping from one subject (Saxton's past advocacy for full funding of the QEM) and taking an opportunity to extend the argument to your dislike for the Atkinson bloggers as a group (of which, I am one).

Maybe I'm the one feeling beat up and overly sensitive... :-)

Rob Kremer said...

Hey I never said I don't like the Atkinson bloggers. I consider Ted Picciolo a friend. I've known him for a long time. I don't personally know most of the others, but I don't harbor any dislike for them.

I'm not aware Ron Saxton ever advocated for full funding of QEM. I'd like to see the proof of that.

Richard Meinhard said...

Indeed, a dishonest method for obtaining more money. Back in 2000, Cascade Policy Institute studied the empirical basis of the assertions in the Oregon Quality Education Model. The report by Richard Vedder at
Money for Nothing
left no doubt as the inaccuracy and incomplete basis of the assertions. If the lawsuit is forced to prove that more money will raise performance of the 75% of students who don't make it to the 10th grade level of the CIM, the suit will surely fail.

Why not study successful schools, charter or private or homeschooling, and find out what they cost?

Perhaps the silver lining in the suit is that the massive failure of the mainline system will be exposed. Imagine a legal venue in which the proponents have to defend the assertions in the QEM and the whole proposition that more money will make a protected government monopoly system somehow perform at a much higher level in serving its customers. Maybe Andrew Coulson would testify. He is an expert on the history (and failures) of government schooling.

Ken said...

Rob -- I stopped checking this thread, so I didn't see your question until now, but here's what I wrote about Saxton and the QEM: