Wyoming Liberty Group
What do we do when we encounter a luxurious buffet but are on a diet? We carefully take only the permitted amount of each allowed item, right? And then we consciously take a smidgen more of each. Soon the plate is overloaded (and maybe we go back for seconds – or thirds!) Is that what’s happened in Wyoming K-12 education over the last decade?
Refugees fled years and years ago from poverty and an oppressive government into the unknown and landed on new shores which were mysterious and harsh to them. They took that huge risk to escape persecution and have the opportunity to choose their own paths. Some of those people suffered terribly in their new land and were unsuccessful. Most, however, thrived in spite the difficulties of starting with almost nothing. And few of them would have chosen to return to their original homes. The opportunities for freedom, choice and hope were irresistible.
Many people like beer, lots of people like soda. Beer and soda always have foam, but it’s the beverage we want, not the foam. What does that have to do with Wyoming K-12 education?
In education, what we want (beverage) is instruction. Everything else is foam. On Message, Inc. found this to be true in a recent poll they conducted on behalf of Wyoming Liberty Group. Seventy-three percent of respondents favored the idea of a law that requires 80% of all education funding be spent in the classroom.
Wyoming’s constitution mandates K-12 education be universal, free of charge and efficient 1. However, the concept of efficiency is so inconvenient it was scarcely mentioned in the course of more than twenty years of litigation about K-12 funding. The result is the mammoth and terrifically expensive education system we now have.
We all get the warm fuzzies, don’t we, when the auto mechanic confidently assures us he knows the cause of our car’s clunking, that it can be fixed by end of day and it will only cost a small amount? Sure; but then hope and reality clash when the work starts. Taking a look under the hood, the mechanic decides whatever it is, it’s going to take longer and it’s going to cost more – a lot more.