Education Funding and Institutional Delusion

We’re coming up on the levy season, and Lakota, which is the school district closest to me, is asking for another levy after we just voted no on the last one initiated in May.

There are many, many reasons I don’t support a new levy. Many of those issues are dealt with in the below video done by John Stossel for a 20/20 assignment. This video reflects my own experience with public education, that it has become an entitlement culture for the staff, weakened by union connections, and the philosophy has become too progressive for my taste. Not something I wish to spend almost $10,000 per kid.

In my business experience, anything over $6,000 per child is a complete waste of money. Anything over that number, I believe you need to restructure the administration, and benefit packages to support $6,000 per child. But as shown in the 20/20 film, there are schools that have cut their cost per child below $5,000 and they are performing at a superior testing level.

What voters have to admit to themselves before they can see this issue clearly, is that the system is essentially a scam. The state sets standards schools have to live up to. The state has to create those standards based on federal mandates which are imposed because the state accepted federal money.

From there organizations like that which reside in Ohio, my home state, such as the OSBA lean on state officials to shape education policies which of course are expensive to follow. The more money spent, the more jobs created, which the administration can then take credit for creating at tax payer expense. The reality is, most of those jobs created could be consolidated, and would be in the private sector.

In February of 2010, I put together this video about progressive education policies.

It is important to understand that things don’t have to be like this. That the control is truly in the people’s hands, and that the education policies of our modern age are doing very little to shape positive aspects of our national pride, teaching students to be self-reliant human beings, heck, most of the kids coming out of the school system don’t know basic geography and history. So what are we teaching kids if they don’t even know where Iran is in the world? And if they know more about American Idol than what’s happening in the next election cycle.

True, most of us would rather not pay attention to the details of an election cycle. There are many things more fun to think about. However, for a republic to work, people have to invest a bit of themselves in understanding what to tell their representatives in government, what to do. When those representatives know that the population doesn’t care, and aren’t watching, they’ll do what most people do when the boss isn’t looking; they’ll goof off. And that’s why we have corruption in those offices, because the people are apathetic and not watching.

And that is how people who are employed by education have scammed the system. The word was when they were getting education degrees and putting in their years, earning their pensions, that the money was good in education. They didn’t have any thoughts that someday, like social security, the funding may run out.

In Ohio, led by the OSBA, they have become very good at twisting the arm of the voter through school superintendants. And they use the dirtiest trick in the book. They hide behind children to make their argument. It is impossible to attack their position once they stand behind children and tell you that if you cut their funding, then you’re kids will suffer.

Edgewood, a community just to the north of Lakota lost it’s levy passage by just a few votes, and the reaction toward the community is the same as it is to every district across the state; as taught by the OSBA in their seminar for superintendants, they cut busing, cut sports programs, and make other schedule changes that make it difficult for parents to adjust. Their thinking is that if they put enough hardship on parents, then the parents will vote their way during the next election, because the increase in taxes are less than the fuel of driving their kid to school, or paying for the sports programs on their own.

To call it what is it, would be to call it a form of extortion. Only the assailants have smiles on their faces, and we are forced to trust them because they care for our kids. You see, they know what many don’t want to admit, that they are day care providers first, and educators second. They know that parents are strapped for time and cash maintaining their careers, and don’t have time to watch over their kids during the day. And they certainly can’t afford day care for their children over age 5. For many parents, finding a way to deal with summer break is challenging enough. As long as they see the light at the end of the tunnel at the end of summer, they can get by. But parents now more than ever, rely on schools to watch their children while they work. And school officials know this, and use that information to pad their pensions, and provide incomes for themselves that would be unheard of in the private sector.

And before anyone says it, I raised my kids with the same principles. Even when my own kids were in the middle of their educations, I still didn’t support the wasteful spending. And at the heart of my opposition is a strong dislike that I have for institutionalism.

Anyone with just a bit of investigation can see that there has been a progressive political movement in the United States for most of the last century. The strategy is as clear as a battle plan from The Art of War, Sun Tzu’s classic book. First break up the American Family. Second replace the family with a centralized authority, which is public education, and change the values of the youth through that centralized authority.
In my experience with the western arts, cowboys are the symbol of American values. They stand for rugged individualism, which was the spirit in founding the country. And as I meet young people these days, I don’t see them learning those elements in school. They are learning interdependency, and other values that my experience say’s is mostly irrelevant to a good and happy adult life.

The video below are people I’d consider to be amoung the best and brightest in this country. Not becaue they have degrees, which some of them do. Or because they have extremely high IQ’s, which some of them do. These are the type of people I call friends and all of them represent what is best about America. They don’t do what they do for fame or money. They do it because of what is good and right in their hearts. And they have what’s right for America in the front of their ideas.

I live by a saying; advice is only as good as the person that gives it. If the person giving the advice is an unhappy person, then the American dream is something lost to them, and they aren’t in a position to advise young people how they should live their lives. Happiness is not something obtained through money, so throwing money at a situation is not an answer I endorse. So my position on taxes, public welfare, and school levies is that I generally don’t support them, because I believe that institutions in most every instance, will fail by their nature, institutions lack accountability and allow for poor strategists and lazy minded employees to hide in the massive structure of an institution.

And passing a school levy only feeds the institutional monster. It won’t get rid of it for good.

Rich Hoffman

25 thoughts on “Education Funding and Institutional Delusion

  1. Most educated people today are products of public education … Your point makes no sense …. Go ahead and quote conservative abc news …. Amazing.


  2. Oh and since you’ve calculated it out please enlighten the masses as to your actual financial burden ….. Since obviously it’s all about cash to you so shallow. I’ve got mine and to h with anyone else ….. Awaiting moderation no doubt


  3. ” Anyone with just a bit of investigation can see that there has been a progressive political movement in the United States for most of the last century. The strategy is as clear as a battle plan from The Art of War, Sun Tzu’s classic book. First break up the American Family. Second replace the family with a centralized authority, which is public education, and change the values of the youth through that centralized authority…”

    please tell me you don’t really believe this….
    it significantly impacts your credibility with open minded folk genuinely trying to understand this very difficult/complex issue.


    1. There are two ways to look at this issue. The first and most important is the short term ability to cover the costs of education, and the manipulation through politics of where our tax money goes to fund it.

      The second issue is a more philisophic one, where I enjoy exploring. Regarding if we are at war, history will put it in the proper context. Many people aren’t ready to deal with that part of the topic. But, in 2011, we will all have our belief systems challenged as we come to realize the extent of the socialogical, and fiscal damaged incured from years of neglect.

      When you’re the greatest nation on earth, don’t believe that their aren’t jealous countries looking to reduce the American way of life. If they can’t do it with firepower, they’ll do it in a less obvious way.

      Thanks for the comment. I enjoy all comments even if they are negative. I learn a lot from all of them.


  4. I’ve been meaning to read this and just never got a chance. Its an issue that Im really interested in. I just started reading and Im glad I did. Youre a fantastic blogger and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!


  5. I just found your website on Google and I must say, I’m impressed. I frequent a lot of blogs and yours is by far one of the best I’ve come across. The information you have here is concise and accurate and you have a very good writing style. Perhaps you should consider writing a book?


  6. Youre not the average blog writer, man. You definitely have something powerful to add to the web. Your design is so strong that you could almost get away with being a bad writer, but you’re even awesome at expressing what you have to say. Keep up the good work man!


  7. I was chatting with my friend on MSN about this and I’ve got to say that I completely agree with the poster near the beginning. And on a side note, I really like the colors you used for your blog. What theme is this?


  8. I love this place! I visit here everyday! Below is a comment to my “Like” of “Support Gov Kasich” from my Aunt, teacher and the diehard Democrat. She claims I can’t have an opinion because I “don’t have a dog in the race”, or because I don’t have children!?!?! Really!?!?! Have at her! I want to see what the rest of you think. Please . . .

    “No, David . I was referring to the Koch brothers, but didn’t think I had to spell it out. There is no BOTTOM LINE IN OUR SCHOOLS. They CAN’T BE RUN LIKE A BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A BUSINESS!!! We don’t get to order raw stock, we accept all children….ones from broken homes, from crack addict parents , the hungry , the dirty, the neglected…I could go on and on, but YOU CAN’T, because you have not only never walked a mile in my shoes, you don’t even have children. Can I accept that our schools need improvement? Yes , but not from someone who is sitting at home reading whatever you might have “Googled” and selectively quoting what fits your needs to criticize me. You don’t have a dog in this hunt. I don’t know what has happened to make you so bitter, but I’m sorry I ever responded to your criticism, cause I love you and don’t want to have bad feelings between us. Your tone puts me on the defensive and for the life of me, I wonder what makes you think so badly of the profession that your sister and I have worked our tails off in. I guess I’ll have to do what I did with Rodney, (we can’t agree on politics)I will never respond to one of your critical posts again.”


    1. I’m getting ready to post something especially for you. It will give you all you need to answer those types of comments. You always have a dog in the race if you pay taxes. Many in that profession are too close to the situation to see clearly. They think their jobs are more important than they really are. Crack addicts, broken homes, all true but part of another, larger problem. It’s not for schools to fix as an institution.


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