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schools seek new tax levy

toad-2x_0Thus reads the headline in our tiny-town weekly… and in newspapers across the USA. Tax revenues are down at the federal, state and local level. At the latter two, public indoctrination education is half the budget. “We HAVE TO find new sources of revenue”.

My grandfather was a public school teacher in the 1930s. When their neighbors lost jobs and had major reductions in their incomes, the public school teachers voted themselves pay cuts.

You see, back then, teachers were among the smarter, more thoughtful and better educated people in the community. They well understood the concept of keeping the service they provided affordable so they could continue to be employed providing it, among other things.

My grandfather found a side job that helped make up some of the difference. He wisely observed that teaching school left him with plenty of time to do for himself and to pick up outside income. The whole community, and for that matter, the industrialized world reduced expectations for income.

In his generation people entered the workforce much earlier. A large percentage left school for full-time jobs after 8th grade. Before you wring your hands at their ignorance, take a side trip to read what that 8th grade education entailed. People like my grandfather worked full time and went to school. Others entered trades and got exceptionally good at their chosen professions from years of hands-on experience.

Schools competed for customers. There were no federal grants, subsidies and scholarships to allow them morket-force insensitivity. The colleges and universities of that era couldn’t conceive of a student running up $60,000 to $100,000 in student loans for a certificate. Rather than rote training and classroom experience, the marketplace of that time valued initiative, knowledge and thinking – in equal measure.

Higher education had to appeal to a very practical, pragmatic and thoughtful audience. It was meat and potatoes technical knowledge that gave its students an upper hand in a very competitive marketplace. Sadly, today’s chips and dip education with accompanying certificate meets the needs of its market too.