Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0727, 09 Mar 21

What the pandemic taught us about prioritizing education

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

One of the ways we show what is important to us is by where we spend our money. We have seen a great variance in the response by government school districts with some of them utterly abandoning our children. Given what we know about the virus today and the experience with schools that have been open all year, taxpayers should question whether they should continue to fund schools that remain closed to in-person learning. Teachers are receiving vaccines today and the expectation is that every teacher who wants it will be vaccinated within the next month. There is no rational reason for schools to remain closed.


If we truly care about education, then we must be willing to put our money where our mouths are and defund schools that refuse to teach our children. In the same thought, we must be willing to shift funds to the schools are, and have been, faithfully educating our kids throughout this pandemic. Throwing money into schools that have been failing our kids is not caring about education. Funding failure is an affront to education.


Irrespective of the public policy choices we make, the primary educators of any child remain their parents. Every parent should take a long, hard look at their kids’ school and the education their kids have been receiving. Is it good? Has the school been holding up their end of the bargain in the educational partnership? Have the kids been successful? If not, why not? And if not, why would you continue to send your kids there? Prioritizing education starts at home.


0727, 09 March 2021


  1. Tuerqas

    And of course there are the growing numbers of people who never had nor never wanted children who pay for all those failing public schools. They have zero voice as everyone who has or had children have cut them off with the old ‘Education is for the public good so everyone owes’. They get no voice without being labeled selfish children haters. They watch families with children get tax break after tax break while they just get higher taxes. As if anyone without children can afford anything and the people who had children required help whether they could afford them or not.
    Having children today is a choice and your own ability to provide food, shelter and education without robbing your neighbors through taxation should be part of that consideration.
    With the low levels of education and growing levels of indoctrination provided in public schools, I would argue that what passes for education today no longer benefits the public good…unless you are a Democrat benefiting from the indoctrination, I guess.

  2. dad29

    In the typical District, 1/3 of the taxpayers have zero chilluns in school; 1/3 have some chilluns in the Public Srewels, and 1/3 have children in parochial or private schools.

    So TWO-thirds of the taxpayers are supporting the other 1/3.

  3. Mar

    At this point, if a school is not opened, the teachers are engaging in an illegal job action. The school districts need to put their foot down, order them to go back to the classroom or be fired.
    Also too bad that the so called civil rights organizations have not stepped up. The schools not being is a civil rights violation against the kids, especially those in the inner cities.

  4. Mike

    “The school districts need to put their foot down, order them to go back to the classroom or be fired.”

    This is the way it should work but too many school board members came up through the ranks of teachers. They openly align themselves with the teachers in spite of being on the opposite side of the bargaining table.

  5. Tuerqas

    I don’t see those numbers Dad, but they are all over the place on the net, so who knows. When I look up how many kids attend public schools, it comes up more like 10% of kids attend private schools, but if you count homeschooling the number almost doubles.
    In consecutive articles on how many women are having children in the US, one says a little less than half of all women in the US were childless in 2018, but the next article down stated 86% of US women have had kids also done in 2018. They obviously can’t both be right. Even if you count give-aways, adoptions, and abortions, I doubt the 86% figure, but you can find ‘facts’ to fit your world-view on the internet, no matter how twisted you are.

  6. dad29

    “Private” school is not the same as “parochial” school, either. The 1/3 thing I learned when doing some project work for Elmbrook Schools. They used those numbers–but they also happened to fit Elmbrook’s experience.

    In any case, childless taxpayers DO subsidize. So do others. Life ain’t fair, and then you die.

  7. Mar

    I would bet the number of private/home school kids has grown significantly in the past year.

  8. MjM

    Maybe I missed the cite of this in some earlier post here on Boots. But if you haven’t read this before ya’ll should take a gander of this study of schools in Wood county before it’s disappeared because the authors now are claiming the CDC, where it was published, misrepresented their findings in the CDC’s latest school ‘guidance’:

    And sing the praises of those Wood teachers who had the guts to go against the science of government.

  9. Mar

    Yep,it’s gone.
    Be interested in hearing about it as that is where we lived for several years.

  10. MjM

    Yeah, mar. The htm got clipped offa my link for some reason. Silly iPad.

    Anyway, as far as Owen’s proposal of shifting public funds from bad to good, one issue I see with that is the creation of school deserts (like the food deserts you’ve heard of). Gonna defund every Milwaukee school? Let Racine sink into Lake Michigan?

    If the thought is to shift funds via parental vouchers, well that’s fine if your parent has a car and can drop you (and your siblings) off every morning at 7:30 and pick you up at 2:30 at the chosen school 25 miles away because that’s the only “good” school in the entire area. Or are we going to fund Uber, too?

    And if you say fund-shifting will create competition, somehow making bad schools good again, I have one word for you: unions. Until public schools are purged of the putrid teacher unions, national to state to local, the problem schools can never be cured and the “good” schools will continue their decline into the indoctrination and propaganda mills that they are all already heading towards.

    Who gets the funding is not the problem. It’s the assholes who are running the entire show.

  11. dad29

    We’ll have to disagree, MjM.

    The State of Wisconsin taxpayer spends an enormous amount on Milwaukee Public Schools–far beyond anything resembling equitable.

    Hair-cutting them by 25% for a year–with intelligent and effective preparation of the field–would be a reminder that screwing taxpayers is not a healthy pursuit.

    Yes, the Pubbies don’t understand “intelligent and effective preparation”–but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it.


  12. Tuerqas

    “In any case, childless taxpayers DO subsidize. So do others. Life ain’t fair, and then you die.”

    Too right! I never expect equality or fairness from a self-interested, self-serving Government, I would just like to see a modicum, a small percentage of ‘public good’ to be reached for my money. It used to. I think the West Bend school district gave out a quality product at the time I was going there. Then I taught there for a semester about 10 years later and was saddened. Then I listened to my nieces stories and was even more disillusioned.

  13. MjM

    Daddio sez: “…far beyond anything resembling equitable.”

    True, perhaps. MKE does take a vast and biggest chunk of the entire state funding. Of course, MKE is by far the largest school district in the state, having 75,000+ more school-aged kids than second place Madison. MKE also has the 4th highest poverty rate of those school age kids, some where around 35%. (Madison stands at 14%;+/- and the top three poverty rate districts are tiny, each with 1000 students or less, two are Indian tribes.)

    So take 25% off. Then what. Do you really think the unions will suddenly become nice and not take that cut out of the kids’ hides? Do you actually believe the MKE socialists will turn conservative and really live “for the kids”? You’ll have to pardon me for being a mite pessimistic about that.

    You know how that works already: Cut our funding? We won’t get rid of useless staff so no more sports.

    And further, who are you going to get to authorize that 25% funding cut? Evers? Barrett? Our republicant legislature?

    Clear out the overstuffed administration offices. Get rid of the useless woke curricula. Consolidate facilities. Scrap the DOE. Hell, promote traditional family structure. We all know what SHOULD be done.

    Walker stepped in the right direction with ACT10. But he didn’t finish the walk. Or get to.

    I reiterate: until the education unions are melting in the flames of hades “education” will continue to become anything but education no matter how much or how little education is funded.

    And thank-you Tuerq (and your nieces) for proving my point.

  14. dad29

    Our republicant legislature?

    GENIUS!!! That is what’s called “preparing the field” in rhetoric.

    You’re right, of course. The 25% haircut would be symbolic. So what? Do what’s right; that used to be a watchword.

Pin It on Pinterest