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"If I did steal anything ... punish me. Don't punish the students."
And while options for kids in Oakland shrink, the Blob grows.
Over the past six decades, as the number of students in public schools doubled, the Friedman Foundation reports that the number of non-teaching staff got eight times as large. Non-teaching staff means assistant principles, associate principals, secretaries, social workers, etc. Twenty-one states now have more school administrators than teachers.
Despite all that new staff, test scores stayed flat.
At least there are a few signs of hope. Remember the union protests at the Wisconsin state capitol two years ago? The union there eventually lost its fight to stop Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from limiting collective bargaining. Now they can bargain over pay but little else. Contracts negotiations that used to take years are sometimes resolved in 15 minutes.
Union membership is no longer automatic but has to be renewed annually by individual members, voluntarily. The result: Teachers unions lost about a third of their members.
I expected that but had no idea that some of the savings in Wisconsin would come from ending the union's monopoly on health insurance. The union had demanded that its members buy insurance from a company the union created. Allowing other insurers to compete lowered insurance costs so much that Wisconsin has saved tens of millions of dollars.
Good for Scott Walker. Less money for the Blob means more money, and freedom, for the rest of us.