Monday, May 16, 2005

Insanity all around me

I'm trying hard to keep a zen-like attitude, but everywhere I turn, there's insanity. Case in point #1--the Ames school district is trying like hell to close two elementary schools in town ostensibly because it's the only way to balance the budget. The superintendent recommended this to the school board a few weeks ago and the shit has pretty much hit the fan around our neighborhood because one of the schools on the chopping block is our neighborhood elementary school--Roosevelt Elementary. It's just a couple blocks from our house and is the anchor of the neighborhood. There are literally hundreds of kids from the neighborhood that walk to school everyday that would either have to be bussed or driven to school next fall if the superintendent and (sadly) what's looking like the majority of the school board has their way. It's just another example of our "if-it's-broke-don't-try-to-fix-it-instead-throw-it-away" society. There's little doubt in my mind that this is just a run-up to closing a couple more elementary schools in a 2-3 years and then saying that we don't have enough space for all the elementary school kids and we need to build a multi-million dollar school on the edge of town where no one can walk to school.

It mostly makes me sick because it's my neighborhood they're talking about, but it's also what I've taken to calling the Bush Mentality--that is "Let's lower taxes so much we can't afford to fund anything and then scratch our heads wondering 'what the hell happened?' when there's no money to fund the schools." I know that the parents in our neighborhood would be more than happy to see their property taxes rise to keep the schools open, but the time for that debate has long since passed. And then school board members say idiotic things like "I don't feel any remorse for any of those parents" it makes me wonder if they remember who they were elected to represent.

So we'll see--they discuss the budget tonight and vote later this week. We'll know by the end of the week whether Anna will be going to Roosevelt or if she'll be bussed across town. Or sent to a private school or even home schooled. Public education is such a clusterfuck right now and even though I'd love to pin all the blame on Bush and his "All-Children-Left-Behind" idiocy, Bush is too much of an idiot to have screwed public education up all on his own. Sadly, public education has been crumbling for decades.

And case in point #2--the insanity of undoing the Constitution in the Senate by Republicans. It's a prime example of a party looking for supreme power. I never thought I'd witness this kind of insanity in the United States.

Like I said, I'm trying to be zen. Unfortunately, I'm not doing the best job ever.

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