|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
I'm actually pretty surprised that no one has introduced education into the discussion.
I live in Florida, where I've had to put up with a Republican governor (a Bush, no less) who is pushing for "school accountability" and school vouchers. Jeb Bush rates public schools based on standardized test scores. If a school doesn't get a high enough grade, under Bush's proposal, parents can request state money to help put their child in a private school.
This is a bad idea for quite a few reasons. The obvious: we're taking money away from public schools, which are already strapped for money.
Additionally, the voucher proposal calculates the cost of educating each child as an average of the cost of educating all children. For example, it costs approximately $3000 a year to educate an "average" child, and about $15000 to educate a challenged child. Because there are fewer challenged children, the calculated cost comes to about $5000 a year.
A year of private education costs, on average, $7000. This means that parents have to come up with the difference. Poorer families will be unable to make up the difference, meaning that the system favors more advantaged children.
How does this proposal help? Why don't we work on reallocating money that is already in the school system, giving more to education if necessary?
Update: Okay, I'll stop ranting. I'm really nervous about the outcome of the presidential race here in Florida. It's really close.