Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The story of a mother trying to help her kids

This story from Ohio could have been conceived as a fable, yet it is sadly very real. The haves are sending a clear message to the have-nots: don't you dare try to lift yourself up by your bootstraps. If we catch you trying to sneak your kids into our world of privilege we'll fix it so you lose your freedom and your job.

The school district where my kids have grown up would be considered fair to middling. It is next door to an almost all-white, very affluent district that has the best SAT scores in the state. No one tries to sneak their kids into that district because the place is too small to get away with it. But the district to our north is riddled with problems, with schools that perform worse than ours. Kids from that district are often smuggled into ours, and are often caught because the district does save money by kicking out non-resident students. This whole thing is an important part of the difficulties Americans face in achieving upward mobility. Schools in affluent districts have adequate resources and social supports to succeed. Schools in poor districts do not. End of story. Property taxes in my state account for the bulk of school funding. One huge step in the right direction would be to pool all the school taxes into a general statewide education fund. Then, a kid who lives in a community filled with empty, derelict factories wouldn't be at such a severe disadvantage, trying to get an education as good as the kid who lives in a district full of multi-million dollar homes.

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