People want government to be accountable and rational; people don't like it when government is accountable and rational.
Recently, Livonia, Michigan, announced that it was scaling back the number of schools to reflect declining student population and increased operating costs; a wholly rational and logical decision. Reaction was disappointment, but surprisingly supportive; for example:
Rayleen Morgan, who has two children in the district, said the district is making the best of a difficult situation.
"This is a proactive way to deal with this," Morgan said.
The cost of educating our children has increase while the general ability of our communities to pay for these costs has diminished. This has little to do with teachers' salaries. It has a lot to do with onerous administrative and facility costs.
- Schools have accepted the responsibility to transport students to and from the schools. That used to be the responsibility of the parents. Transportation costs are an increasing portion of the schools' expenses.
- Sports facilities have become too important. Yes, I played football, baseball and wrestled. But high schools in my hometown shared facilities such as stadiums. After all, half of the teams play "away" games each week. Football and track teams used a simple practice field and baseball teams played at public parks. But recently, despite enormous pressures on Detroit schools to cut back, a new $2.5 million stadium was built (and couldn't be opened because of safety issues). It's nice to have those neat facilities, but not central to education... especially when schools have to be closed.