Why call it a waltz, those patrons in our society that use emotion to justify the use of public money for their private needs? Because when the hard facts are put on the table, the emo’s dance around the issues, call names and attempt to side step the primary issues.
There was a wonderful disagreement on the Big One between Doc Thompson and Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquire over public education dollars being spent on special needs children.
This initial argument reminded me so closely to the disagreements taking place in virtually every school system across Ohio. For me, in the Lakota district when I put myself in the line of fire against the recent proposed school levy, it was stunning how similar the reaction people had towards me. The impulsive reaction of the otherwise cerebral Paul Daugherty and his literal intellectual attack on Doc Thompson, stating, “you could not write my article,” and “do you want to be quiet while I educate you or not,” speaks of the mentality behind such statements.
Doc Thompson is understandably ruffling the feathers of established thinking and that is a very good and healthy thing. His position on this particular issue is one of questioning the validity of the costs in public education that are proving unsustainable. The comments Doc is making are the first honest examination of an avalanche which is about to fall upon us in programs created by government in recent history, that were well-intentioned, and are now accepted by the population in general, such as Paul Daugherty, and believe are “rights.”
When Paul attacked Doc, the motive was clearly one of intimidation, which is a normal strategy from parents that have become dependent on the services schools have been offering. Special needs children certainly bring about that reaction, but so do the children that want to participate in sports, or band. The standard defense reaction from people wanting those services from public money is to attack anyone that even brings up the question. In this case Paul came on the air, basically told Doc he was “wrong,” and that Doc lacked the intellect to write a column for the Enquire and that he needed to be educated. The unspoken desire is to impress upon Doc that if he speaks about something that is sensitive then maybe he’ll shut up next time and not ask the question.
I went through the same process during the Lakota Levy. “You couldn’t teach a class of students.” “If you have all the answers, why don’t you run for the school board,” were just a few of the comments. Anyone close to the story will note that during the Lakota Campaign, angry parents and teachers actually threatened WLW with very similar inflammatory comments because I had went on the air and revealed the real budget buster, that the wages of the top 30% exceeded 65K a year, and that was the reason the district didn’t have proper funding.
In 1990 a well-intentioned Congress passed the ADA act which is described below.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009.
The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined by the ADA as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.”
Quote by George Bush, “I know there may have been concerns that the ADA may be too vague or too costly, or may lead endlessly to litigation. But I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. We’ve all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation; and we’ve been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred…. Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
People now have forgotten what life was like before the ADA was enacted. And because it’s such an emotional issue, taken individually, the feel good stories are used to sell it. But now in hindsight, can we not say that the ADA has had a devastating effect on our expanding economy. Our competing nations don’t regulate themselves in such a way. People also assume that the Department of Education has always been in place, when in reality it’s only been implemented since 1979. Has the Department of Education made our students more successful? Or has the Department of Education only increased the cost of education? Is legislation like the ADA the government’s solution to fairness, if the cost is at the expense of our nation? And in sports, how did we arrive at a place where sports are considered an entitlement? Should public schools offer sports so children can have a crack at a scholarship? Is that the requirement of public education, so resident parents have the opportunity to have their children pursue a scholarship to higher education? Or preparing a child for college with electives offered by the district, is it the public’s responsibility to help a child accomplish their college goals once they’ve graduated? Who benefits, the community, or the parents of the community that save the extra education costs because pubic education assisted the cost of post-graduate prep? These are the emotional issues that instigate the type of character assassinations that are eerily similar to the exchange between Doc Thompson and Paul Daugherty.
Traditionally, it was churches, friends and family that cared for members of society that couldn’t care for themselves. When government injected itself into the situation, they have created a culture of entitlement, which we can not afford, and now the remnants of good intentions are crippling the very foundations that our society is built upon.
The only way to understand those foundations is to strip away all the things built upon it, and re-examine the condition. Again, I’d have to point out in the case of special needs issues; the total cost is but a fraction of staff wages that are excessively high across the entire school system payrolls. In Cincinnati the average per family income is $58,000 per home. At Lakota, it’s $62,000 per teacher. That is the bulk of cost, and no union member has yet to step forward and suggest restructuring their contracts. Instead, for weeks the Cincinnati Public School system negotiated with their teachers union over the cost of health care. So dealing with wages is a long way off. And the reason nobody asks the hard questions are because of what Doc went through on WLW on December 9, 2010 when a fellow member of the media took him to task on the air in an attempt to silence him.
And that is a waltz few sane individuals want to dance to. But let’s all be thankful that Doc can dance with the best of them.