Newark Schools Spent $18,208 Per Pupil Last Year. So Why Are They In 'Extreme Chronic Fiscal Distress?'

Money alone can't fix failing schools.


The public schools in Newark, New Jersey are in a state of "extreme chronic fiscal distress," according to a new report by the nonprofit Education Law Center (ELC). "The ongoing budget crisis has eroded essential resources," and students are being deprived of their rights to an adequate education under the state constitution.

How does the ELC define "extreme chronic fiscal distress?" Newark's traditional public schools spent a whopping $18,208 per pupil in 2014-15. That tops average per pupil spending in every state except New York. (Though, of course, there are many cities and towns that spend more.)

The ELC was founded in 1973 on the theory that dramatically boosting state spending could fix New Jersey's failing schools, and 42 years later it's still pushing that theory—despite mounting empirical evidence to the contrary. The ELC was behind the landmark 1981 lawsuit Abbott v. Burke that sought to increase school funding in the state's poorest districts. Decades later, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in its favor and a boatload of additional state funding started flowing to cities like Newark. But the schools barely improved. It turns out that how schools spend money also matters.

The ELC report looks at how per-pupil spending has been dropping in Newark's traditional school district over the past few years. That's because the city is home to a growing number of charter schools. When students opt to attend a charter, a portion of state funding follows them out the door. The ELC argues that the money going to charters means fewer resources in classrooms.

That's certainly possible. Traditional schools have so little budgetary discretion that when funding drops principals can't simply cut nonessential administrative positions. New Jersey charters, on the other hand, get about 70 percent as much funding per child as traditional schools, but their school leaders have more freedom to spend that money as they see fit.

"You find a way to make it work and cut out the incidentals that don't matter in pushing a child to college," says Bridgit Cusato-Rosa, a charter school principal in Camden, New Jersey, who began her career in Newark. Cusato-Rosa "despises" the argument that schools can't succeed because they don't have enough money.

For more on Cusato-Rosa's charter school, the history of Abbott v. Burke, and why money alone can't improve failing schools, watch my three-part video series, which originally ran on Reason TV back in January.

Here's part one:

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  1. Why? Who cares.

    The sooner all of the cities between DC and Boston are flushed down the toilet the better the rest of the nation will be. Fuck them all and their teat-sucking pubsec unions that perform like shit.

    1. Collectivist nonsense. Most of us have nothing to do pubsec unions, and the fact that they have a total lock on power here has solutions other than flushing tens of millions of people “down the toilet”.

      1. As long as they never suck a single federal dollar to buttress and enable their incompetence, their continued existence is skin off my back.

        1. No*. I swear my phone eliminates entire words.

        2. Well NY is a net loser of federal dollars to other states, so maybe we could start there.

          1. It’s also the financial center of the entire country and one of the biggest in the world, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s a lot more wealth flowing through it and per capita incomes are higher than Mississippi. On the other hand, the state is replete with those who vote for anyone who promises benefits to “the poor”, of which there are many more outside New York than in, so it’s hard to feel sorry for them.

            There are always going to be those that pay more into than they receive from any system (see insurance for an easy example). It’s unreasonable to expect that any group should receive exactly the amount of government services equal to taxes paid, unless you have a user fee only based government, which we clearly do not.

          2. Every state is a net loser.

          3. Yet most New Yorkers subscribe to the notion that the rich should pay the federal government to help the less fortunate. While I understand and accept your point, I think it ironic for Blue states to complain that they pay out more than they get while demanding that others do exactly that.

      2. But the governments there are a net drain on our liberty because they have their hands on so many of the levers of power.

        We’ll send a life raft for the decent people that actually want to shrink the government. A dozen or so ought to do it. (You and some others obviously included).

        Plus, your hyperbole-detector might need recalibration.

        1. governments there are a net drain on our liberty because they have their hands on so many of the levers of power

          No doubt, and what’s worse there’s virtually zero way to vote them out. Hence the very low voting numbers. Why bother voting when the outcome is known?

          1. “No doubt, and what’s worse there’s virtually zero way to vote them out. Hence the very low voting numbers.”

            You’ve reversed cause and effect.

            1. If you think you can fight the machine politics here, you’re welcome to try.

              1. It happened in Chicago once, but only once.

                1. “It happened in Chicago once, but only once.” was the response to Rhywun

      3. Anyone who has seen the inner harbor, harbor east and the Canton waterfront in Baltimore would know that no one is flushing that down a toilet. It’s definitely worth fighting for.

        1. And anybody that has walked five blocks away from any of those knows what a war zone looks like.

          Ate the places you noted outliers? Or is the rest of the entire city?

          1. There are a few good neighborhoods outside of the immediate harbor area. Then there are vast swatches of the city that are ghettos and ghettos in training. The reason why Baltimore survives at all is the natural beauty of the harbor area and there’s already so much money invested in that area that it’s not going anywhere. There are cranes everywhere down at harbor east with new building going up.

            I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Baltimore for years now. It’s truly a beautiful city, but it also has huge fucked up ghettos and there’s really no chance of fixing that as long as the Democrats are in charge here. Not sure how else to explain it.

            You don’t go the bad areas, it’s just that simple. But the city is not in any danger of going broke or anything for the foreseeable future. There will just be mega wealth and luxury living side by side with destitute poverty as long as team blue is in charge.

            1. There will just be mega wealth and luxury living side by side with destitute poverty as long as team blue is in charge.

              NYC is quickly heading that way.

              1. I thought NYC was effectively driving the poor out of the city? Gentrification, rising property prices, etc., will just push all the poor people out. Maybe they all go to New Jersey and that’s why that state is doing so terribly. In any case, I imagined NYC was basically becoming like a gigantic San Francisco: a yuppie paradise with no real ghettos because no one with under a six figure salary can even afford a cardboard box there. (I know some San Fran local will come on and say ‘not true, such and such neighborhood is a real cesspit’; still doesn’t compare to the rust belt cities that are 75% ‘hood’/abandoned warehouses).

                1. It’s easier to compare NY to SF + Oakland and surroundings. There are a still some ghettoes outside Manhattan.

                  SF itself can be compared to Manhattan.

                  In any case, there are a *lot* of people being paid by the government to either sit around and have kids or to work at a do-nothing pubsec job.

                  So, no – what is being driving out is the middle class.

        2. I’ve seen them and I don’t think they’re all that great, honestly. Just a harbor and a waterfront. Nothing special about them.

    2. The good parts of Baltimore are beautiful. We just need to bulldoze the bad parts and turn them into urban farms. That will make the hipppies happy also. It’s a WIN/WIN.

      1. “Inner Harbor” is contrived BS, and certainly not worth fighting for…other than contextually versus the remainder of Baltimore.

      2. The good parts of Baltimore are beautiful.

        Meh, not really.

    3. Isn’t that what climate change is supposed to do? 🙂

  2. it’s not about money, per se, it’s about how money is spent. If you have a top-heavy bureaucracy, which is more rule than exception, that carries a heavy payroll. Then the unions insist on paying teachers well regardless of performance and much of the public is too unaware or too ignorant of the administrative bloat to say anything. No municipality in “crisis” ever says it will lay off administrators of deputy vice assistant superintendents.

    1. It is a clever move they do, presenting the false dichotomy “we’ll have to lay off teachers/cut their salaries if you don’t vote yes on the next school levy.” I’ve heard school teachers say they could easily cut costs 10-20% just by spending money on supplies, logistics, etc. more efficiently, that you could make the cost cuts without any teacher salary reduction. But somehow, it’s always presented as either raise more funding or cut teacher salaries.

      Mind you, teacher salaries should be cut and many should be fired, but saying that out loud sounds to most people like saying you want to murder kittens, so it’s safer to say that you can still force them to cut costs without cutting any teacher’s salary, but that the bureaucrats won’t allow it.

      1. I’m not sure teacher salaries need to be cut but their bennies definitely do. The most important thing is being able to fire them.

        1. Given that teachers in the private sector invariably make less, I think pubsec teachers probably make too much.

          1. It depends on where you are. I’ve noticed that in a few areas I have experience in, teacher pay is depressed while administrator (principle and up) pay is exaggerated, so going to a private school gives a public teacher a pay raise.

            1. I guess it depends on how firm a grip the various unions have on local politics.

    2. Oh but it is about the money. Let me borrow from collectivist heroes FDR and Harry Trueman. I propose a maximum wage for the public education industry of $15 per hour. Problem solved.

  3. First of all, it would be a more accurate metric to report a dollar figure per teacher. And, secondly, education is the second-to-last thing you can cut, no matter how poorly spent those tax dollars.

    1. Seems like everybody is not seeing the real problem with the statistic. It indicates that blind students don’t receive any money at all, and half-blind receive 50% less. Therefore more money is needed.

  4. For public schools vs charters, they’ll just bust out the old saw that they have to deal with special needs kids, and the charters don’t. (Even when the charters do.)

    1. Old saw?

      OK. That’s what we call truths now?

      1. Many charters deal with SN kids.

      2. Except it isn’t true. Charter schools are required to serve special needs students by law.

  5. Kicked out of house for wifes wine party. At the sports bar. Starting with the Bloody Mary bar:)

    1. My wife went to a hen party a while back. I was the designated driver. The hens sat around the table sipping drinks and cackling.

      The host’s husband and I sat quietly in the corner for a few minutes. Then he turned to me and asked “Hey, wanna go in the back and see my gun collection?”

      “Yeah, lets do that.”

        1. “Wow, look at the size of it!”

          1. No homo, though.

            NTTAWWT, BTW.

          2. And it comes in all these different colors.

            1. And the little thing that goes up.

        2. You and I thinking th he exact same thing.

        3. Yeah. As soon as I hit the ‘submit’ I knew that joke was coming. It took y’all long enough, geez.

          1. 6 minutes. I’ll bring by A game next time.

        4. See that’s why I can’t go to hen parties, I’d much rather see someone’s gun collection and then all the womyns would be bitchy passive aggressive ’cause I snubbed them.

      1. The hens sat around the table sipping drinks and cackling

        And they wonder why guys like to drink so much. Because we have to!

    2. Hah! I started at the Bloody Mary bat @ 8 today for a semi-serious meeting with my boss (we both work remotely so we end up meeting at bars to discuss work). Have been drinking beer since then. Trying to get dinner made for the kids.

      My wife returns from a two week trip tomorrow. Looks like the house won’t be as clean as I had planned (although there will be way less beer bottles lying around)

      1. My favorite beer (sculpin) comes in cans now. Much better on trash day.

        1. Yeah, but I’ve yet to see a beer that tastes as good from a can as it does from a bottle or on tap. I don’t know why, but it’s true.

          1. Old technology. The new cans are coated on the inside. No more aluminum taste. You should try cans again.They are so much more convenient.

          2. Dont drink directly from the can. Or the bottle.

            1. Of course not. That’s ghetto.

  6. “So Why Are They In ‘Extreme Chronic Fiscal Distress?’ ”

    Because the money was stolen.

    “Newark’s traditional public schools spent a whopping $18,208 per pupil in 2014-15. That tops average per pupil spending in every state except New York.”

    Maybe, but they didn’t spend it ON the students.

    “…students are being deprived of their rights to an adequate education under the state constitution.”

    No such right exists and constitutions cannot create, establish, or grant rights.

    1. +1 Charter of Negative Liberties

    2. These are the magical “rights” that Tony should be complaining about, instead of negative liberties such as self defense.

    3. Ok, so don’t call it “rights” if you don’t want to, but the state’s constitution says they’re entitled to it, and such entitlements are enforceable in court.

      However, it would seem that one could easily do a calcul’n from examples of adequate education being given in some school to determine that one could spend far less & still deliver an adequate educ’n.

      Has anyone ever subpoenaed a failing student, followed that student everywhere s/he went for the school year like a private detective (except also staying in that student’s home, not just shadowing them outside) & determined why that student was failing, to disprove that $ had anything to do w it? Or done some epidemiology on groups of students to determine the factors making the difference between succeeding & failing classes?

      Is the problem, “We’re not allowed to examine any closer, & the only handle we have is the amount of $ spent, so that’s all we can do”?

      1. Parental involvement is the single biggest factor affecting success in education. It isnt complicated.Large numbers of failing students means large numbers of failing parents. Primarily single parents, poor, drug and legal problems plus a healthy dose of don’t-give-a-shitism.

        Money can’t fix that.

        Also, entitlement is very different from ‘a right’. Rights are inherent. They exist by virtue of one’s humanity, with or without law. Exercising a right does not require some other person to give anything or have their rights infringed as entitlement does.

        1. Parental involvement is the single biggest factor affecting success in education.

          While John Hattie’s meta-analysis of over 900 studies did show that parental involvement did have an effect on student achievement (Cohen’s d = .50, with .40 being the minimum effect size for significance in Hattie’s analyses), it was far from being the single biggest factor for student achievement.

          1. I am not buying.

            Rearing your child to be someone who wants to succeed, being involved with their interests and activities and education, providing a positive role model and making sure they know someone has their back makes the difference.

            Without that only a few extraordinary individuals will succeed no matter what else is in the equation.

            1. Rearing your child to be someone who wants to succeed, being involved with their interests and activities and education, providing a positive role model and making sure they know someone has their back makes the difference.

              I see, and I agree. What you’re referring to is not how the term “parental involvement” is typically used in the literature. It usually refers to measures such as parent attendance to parent/teacher conferences, being part of the PTA, attending school events, and generally knowing what’s going on in the school.

          2. What do they mean by Piagetian Programs?

            I know Jean Piaget and his stuff about stages of early child cognitive development, etc. but not how that is supposed to apply to “high school”

            Ok i see their glossary. But still = is that study looking at “all education”, and not just High School? because then i’d think the problem is that there are hugely different factors involved at ages after puberty.

            1. Hattie’s work is not a singular study but a meta-analysis, which means he found as many studies, in this case, on “Piagetian Programs” he could find and averaged their results. The individual studies might have looked at K-8, high school, higher ed, or all of them.

              because then i’d think the problem is that there are hugely different factors involved at ages after puberty.

              Hattie is nothing but completely upfront about the fact that a meta-analysis is only good as the studies of which it is comprised. I don’t have Hattie’s book at home, but problems like that are usually noted if they weren’t accounted and corrected for in the original studies.

              Finally, as for how Piaget applies to high school, remember that Piaget himself said that not everyone makes it to the formal operational stage. Perhaps the studies looked at remediation at the high school level.

              1. I get the general outline, i just was confused about the importance ascribed to “Piagetian Programs” (its the second most-important factor listed)…

                ….when it seems they refer to only one meta-study providing any supporting data. and it seems exclusively limited to things like ‘elementary school math’

                *small disclosure = i actually went to a HS that tried to integrate “Kohlbergian” ideas into an experimental-education framework. we all took an orientation course which provided background on the whole conceptual background… hence my familiarity with Piaget (at least on a ‘i read the book-jacket’-level)

        2. Inherent rights are unprovable. There’s as much evidence for inherent human souls as for inherent human rights.

          1. Without inherent rights, there are no objective rights, which all just collapses into “might makes right.” At that point, political and moral philosophy is just navel gazing, because we’re simply rationalizing our choice to acquiesce to the bullies with bigger guns.

            1. (apologies for the grammar weirdness)

      2. You are focusing on what they say they want to accomplish (educate children well) vs what they actually intend to accomplish (increase public sector union salaries).

        There is no push to analyze the actual causes of student success or failure, because that answer is not actually desired. The purpose of the whining to to get more tax money that can be divvied up during the next union contract negotiations. The teachers and administrators (with exceptions, there are always some principled teachers or administrators) may snipe at one another, but it reality they run a huge scam where they cry it is all “for the children” and they both get increased salary and other compensation.

    4. The children would be better off if they were just given that lump sum of 18000X14=250k when they turn 18 years old.

      5k a student. needs 10 kids in class of 20 to pay teacher 50k total. 5 to pay bus drivers. 5 to pay other admin cost, supplies, utilities.
      Let me know if this needs correction(bus driving and admin will be combined with other classes as well).


      18k a student. class of 20. 4 kids to pay teacher. 2 to pay bus drivers. 2 to pay other admin cost, supplies, utilities. being generous.

      leaving 12 x 18k +200k unaccounted for. 200k extra per classroom goes where?

      “New York:
      Per-pupil amount of current spending: $19,818

      Salaries and wages: $11,044
      Employee benefits: $5,656”
      -cited AP
      assuming NY divides it up similar to NJ Where are all these extra wages and benefits going?!?!?
      3k is left to I assume pay utilities and supplies.

      1. Why do you hate the children?

      2. Are you including in all of that just eliminating public education, and also the amount that will spent on welfare and administration costs for the entire life of most of those students because they can’t find a job since their leftist heroes have destroyed the economy?

        I’m onboard here, just completely eliminate public education and welfare and the entire bureaucracy that runs it and just write people a check.

        1. You had me right up until “write people a check”.

          1. Yeah, I know. It’s a controversial topic for most libertarians. The conclusion I’ve come to is that if someone needs assistance, just write them a fucking check. Eliminate all the bureaucracy and administration costs. Maybe it makes more sense now?

            1. The problem is, the most ardent proponents of public assistance generally think that the people in need of assistance are too stupid to make sound financial decisions. The idea being that if you give someone who is starving a check, he’ll go buy some crack and then starve to death anyway, so you have to actually give him food.

      3. Holy shit, and I remember when 10K per pupil was considered outrageous – and that was what, a decade ago?

        1. As has been pointed out on this here website and elsewhere, per pupil, inflation adjusted spending has tripled since about 1970.

      4. Hmmm, the first item you need to recognize is that the teachers are paid WAY more than $50K. In fact, when complete compensation is considered, and average teacher compensation is used rather than starting salaries, they make more than $100,000/yr.

        I have it that they suffer like that.

        1. sorry, typo,

          I HATE it that they suffer like that.

          1. so your telling me I made the wrong career choice?

            so teachers are realistically in the top 15% of wage earners?

            It’d be more productive in many situations to just pay the parent 18k a year to come to the school and read out of the textbook to their child.

  7. Imagine the results if you just said to the students “pass final examinations in these subjects and you get this 18 large outright”. I imagine it would work far better than what they have now. Which is the last thing the parasi…I mean teachers want you to realize.

    1. That’s the sort of outside-the-box thinking that’ll get your chocolate ration taken away. One of these days, when we’re all in the camps, remember my words and live, brah.

      1. I have only one question, Hamster. Will I get to exclaim “AVENGE ME! AVENNNNNNGE MEEEEE!!!”?

        Because if so, I’m in. As long as it’s dark chocolate and not the repulsive milk crap. With sea salt.

        1. Don’t just scream platitudes. Try to engage in a long conversation with HoD, go over the past and what might have been at length.

          I say that because I will be back in Wolverine camp banging Lea Thompson and I don’t want to rush it. A woman like that needs to be wooed.

    2. Then you’d have most students passing the exams by the time they were 15-16! plus the library would be full of students studying all day, rather than trapped in classrooms with incompetent public-servants. It would make all the infrastructure of ‘education’ unnecessary! Why do you hate teachers?!

      1. Because they’re fucking parasites?

        1. My mother is one of those parasites!

          She retired a few years ago. Her department head had just quit the position in frustration and transferred to another school. After that, administration began sharpening knives and casting about for the troublemakers who kept getting parents involved because their shitheel students couldn’t keep up. They preferred a nice, quiet campus and parents happy their moron kids were making As.

          After retiring she quit arguing that education should be a purely public venture. She’s also pretty sick of the Dems.

      2. …And the students would come out of the system being able to think for themselves. It would defeat the purpose of the system.

        We can’t have that.

    3. BTW…

      …worth looking at sometime, if you’re interested in “education reform”, is the core idea of the Brown Coalition of Essential Schools (or just read Ted Sizer‘s book, “Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School”)

      Sadly – the reality of the Coalition-schools is that they still end up sticking fairly close to the standard 4-yr high school model… and layer on a lot of BF Skinner bullshit to the core idea of education being stripped down to “proof of mastery”

      but the *idea* of it is that students can pursue core-curricula at any pace they desire, free of ‘grades’ or tracking or even proper ‘classes’. they could attend lectures, read materials at their discretition and pace, and repeat whatever necessary. You could, in theory, ‘graduate’ as soon as you wanted, or were capable enough.

      Part of the problem of his ideas is that the are remarkably libertarian in conception, but put into practice by the same Progressives who populate all public-school systems. handicapped from the get-go.

    4. Hmm.. Like the idea, but why do you want college tuition for freshmen to leap by $18K overnight?

    5. Thats’ 18 grand per year, your in skool for what?- like eight years, -thats almost 60,000 dollars, (public schooling here) So you start at first grade tell ’em we’ll take ten dollars a day away until you pass the final test, then you get whatever is left.

    6. Heck, you could get that result at a fraction of the cost just by bribing the evaluators. Who gives a fuck if students pass exams in arbitrary subjects? Just say everyone’s OK, ship ’em off somewhere else during the supposed school day, & 99% won’t notice the dif. The other 1% would be academics, & who needs their opinion anyway, since their only job is to make work for themselves, like lawyers?

      1. Seriously, is there anything you care about that you learned in school that you wouldn’t’ve learned anyway?

    7. How about give the students 200k at age 18 if they pass this grand final exam and eliminate public education. They could have their parents contract out a percentage of this 200k or pay a tutor up front to pay for schooling.

      the moral hazard here is parents forcing their children to give them the money.

    8. Imagine the results if you just said to the students “pass final examinations in these subjects and you get this 18 large outright”.

      Tens of thousands of kids who’ve learned to be professional cheaters?

      1. Tens of thousands of kids who’ve learned to be professional cheaters?

        So, China, basically.

        1. I really object to bribing kids so they’ll achieve something. I’m okay with providing free education to those who want it, preferably from private sources. There should be nothing compulsory about it. Either you want it or GTFO.

          1. I really object to bribing kids…

            Do you object to the concept of incentives in general, or just for the youngens.

          2. bribing is better than compulsory.

            a lot of parents shell out a couple bucks for getting A’s.

            really as young children though, many won’t even be able to understand the concept of adulthood and what is needed for it.

        2. +1 India

      2. Well, cheating is a useful skill, isn’t it?

    9. That would magically make IQs go up 20 points?

      Magical thinking FTL

      1. Red Flag for strawman. Yellow Flag for giving a shit about IQ.

        1. For individuals – not so good. As a metric of group performance – excellent.

          But the question is – would you rather have a 70 IQ piloting your 747 or a 130 IQ?

          1. For individuals – not so good. As a metric of group performance – excellent.

            IQ isn’t a measure of “group performance”. It’s supposed to be a measure of innate intelligence, although it isn’t very good even at that.

      2. “Magical thinking” indeed.

        Reason is rather anti-science when it comes to schools, perhaps because “failing schools” are just schools with a lot of stupid students, and SJWs can’t deal with the fact that not all groups of people are exactly the same in every wonderful way.

        1. Reason is rather anti-science when it comes to schools, perhaps because “failing schools” are just schools with a lot of stupid students,

          What does the intelligence of students have to do with whether schools are failing financially?

          and SJWs can’t deal with the fact that not all groups of people are exactly the same in every wonderful way

          And what does that have to do with libertarianism?

  8. “Money alone can’t fix failing schools'”

    Yes… but hear us out….There’s a perfectly reasonable argument here!!!

    See… We WANT lots of money.

    And we don’t give a fuck about failing schools.

    So pony up the scrill already.

    Public-Sector Unions.

  9. Will there ever come a day when the average voter isn’t seduced by a “it’s for the children” plea to spend other people’s money?

    1. Actually, it does happen, just not in the northeast.

      Here where I live, the School board claimed that they needed new school buildings due to growth. They got a significant tax increase passed. Then they started buying every kid an Apple laptop and lots of other new “needs”, but no buildings.

      And they came back to the voters for a renewal of the previous tax AND a new tax to build those new schools. The voters were pissed, and every single school levy was defeated by large margins.

      So, school superintendent got replaced, Apple laptop program died, and somehow everything is still running just as before. Magic!

      Just remember this when they are telling how stupid those people in the south are, compared to the genius’ in the northeast. “Stupid” in progressive land is when you hold public officials accountable.

  10. Dude sometimes you jsut have to roll with it man.

  11. Large sections of Baltimore look just like the streets they show in that video. I’m talking about HUGE sprawling ghettos, you can drive for miles and not leave them. They’ve been throwing tons of tax payer money at the problem for decades. And guess what their current plan is? That’s right, SPEND MOAR! MOAR, MOAR OF THE SAME!

  12. Make yourselves useful.

    Tragedy of the commons.


    1. Me – “Goddammit, the kids break everything in the house. Furniture, appliances, dishes. I caught them throwing away our expensive flatware the other day because they are too damn lazy to wash dishes. I found one of my wife’s Tervis tumblers in the ditch half-way to the highway. All of my damn coffee cups are missing. Our expensive sheets are missing. I am fed up with this shit.”

      My brother – “I know exactly what you are talking about. I have been there. It’s not theirs. They didn’t pay for it, so they DONT. GIVE. A. FUCK.”

      Adequate discussion?

      1. ‘Flatware”? What else you got? A Davenport? A Chifforobe?

          1. I just hope those cups are not Styrofoam.

        1. Monocles, dickies, a sword cane and tophats.

          You must have forgotten which blog you are on.

          *I actually do have a sword cane.

          1. You must have forgotten which blog you are on.

            That is what threw me, I would have thought that washing dishes would be your kids’ orphans’ responsibility not your kids’.

      2. KEEP IT GOING.

        My niece is writing a paper on it. I fear my sister, a natural liberal hippie, will corrode my niece – a natural classical liberal who spots bull shit from a mile away – who I may want to save. I have a vested interest in this.

        1. Something, something,..using limited commenter resources to do your niece’s homework instead of discussing wood-chippers and lobster girls……something, something


            I can always open the discussion up to abortion, artisanal food, and deeeeeeeeep dish.

            If you wish.

        2. Here and here. As far as using them in a school paper, they are both from evul neolibrul outlets, so YMMV — though both pieces were authored by academics and the latter was written by the professor who popularized the concept. It has plenty of non-evul-neolibrul references, such as Hardin’s original Science article, listed on the bottom that may be useful even if it itself is disqualified.

          1. Thanks. Knew about Hardin – but he was a eugenicist I believe?

            1. Hmmm, is there a way to identify socialists and other progressive leaners in the womb?

          2. I don’t see why you think of the “tragedy of the commons” as a neo-liberal concept; in fact, the concept is mostly used by progressives to justify increases in government and regulation.

            In any case, while a neat idea, there is little theory or empirical evidence for “the tragedy of the commons” as a sound economic concept. Sure, people often behave that way given a choice, but it makes no useful predictions when they do and when they don’t.

            It’s also not a basis for useful political arguments, since free market folks see privatization as the answer to the tragedy of the commons, while progressives see more nationalization and regulation as the answer.

        3. Give her some literature for Christmas.

      3. Have you tried beating them?

        1. Helpful as usual.

          Je me souviens.

          /considers option nonetheless.

      4. It’s more than that. With a common resource, people rationally expect that if you don’t take as much you can, everyone else will take it instead and so not only will any effort to conserve be meaningless, it will mean you get screwed. As a result commons tend to be pushed past what is sustainable.

  13. You didn’t even mention Zuckerberg’s facebook money.

    Look, public schools and all public services are basically make work projects – that’s all. When the community is poor they need those phoney baloney jobs because the private sector is nonexistent – that becomes a negative feedback loop – a soul-sucking public sector discourages private investment.

    In Jersey, most of us gave up on our cities years ago. We basically pay a bribe – the Abbott money – so that we’re left alone. The only people who are going to ‘save’ ghetto schools are people who currently live there, and some have made improvements by starting charters. The best us suburban types can do is support those charters. I do that with my time and money and am glad to do so, but there’s no political solution coming from the state. It will be resolved locally by people smart enough to work around the entrenched interests or it won’t be done at all.

    1. I live in one of the best school districts in the country. I also happen to live next to one of the most corrupt school districts in the country, Centinela Valley.

      I feel bad for those kids. I donated to one of the charters in that district, Da Vinci, and also donated some items to their auction. I actually got shit for it when somebody saw my name on the webpage of donors. Fuck that.

      1. Oops. And by “got shit”, I mean somebody called me from a blocked number several times asking me not to donate. I had to turn on the feature that won’t let blocked calls through.

        1. A total stranger?

          1. I assume so. Wouldn’t tell me who they were.

            1. Union goon, perhaps.

              “OK, Larry, you make the threatening phone calls to charter-school donors in this zip code, you, Bob, take this zip code…Antonio, you’re on “leave flaming dog crap on doorsteps” duty…

            2. I would inform them that because of their call I would double my donation if they didn’t come and talk to me face to face, and I would make good on that. If they actually showed up (unlikely) I would force them to donate equal to mine.

              I dont bully well. It really pisses me off.

              What a chickenshit motherfucker.

              1. I did more than that. I can’t really get into it without outing myself.

                1. without outing myself.

                  You’re gay?

                  1. If liking Celine Dion is gay, I don’t want to be straight.

                    1. If liking Celine Dion is gay

                      It is.

        2. I don’t get it. Why didn’t they want you to donate?

          1. Because they’re teacher union trogs.

      2. Jesus, I must be really naive but Centinela has revenues of $75 million?

        1. Most of the revenue comes from the commercial portion of El Segundo, an area where they don’t actually provide educational services. Like I said, it’s a corrupt district, and it’s running a scam. El Segundo is roughly cut in half. The west side is mostly. residential, and they have their own district. There are no residents on the east side, but there are many businesses with very deep pockets. So the neighboring district gerrymandered that into their district. Nobody in east El Segundo can vote, and they fund everything.

          DEMOCRACY FTW!

          1. Do people often leave their wallets there, hence the easy money?

            1. I knew you’d make that joke. I knew it. Find a mirror and narrow your gaze!

    2. A good journal article on why Zuckerberg’s cash was just the most recent in long line of attempts to solve structural problems with “mo’money”

      “[In] the 1960s, with the Ford Foundation’s ill-fated campaign to decentralize New York City’s public schools by giving community boards the power to fire and hire teachers and principals….The teachers unions opposed the effort…. Union leaders called a citywide strike that paralyzed the system and forced Mayor John Lindsay to call the whole thing off

      In 1993, philanthropist Walter Annenberg sought to improve education by awarding $500 million to America’s public schools… Annenberg assumed that the money “plus a bit of goodwill and social engineering could nudge American public schooling into new effectiveness.” …the $1.1 billion in spending that resulted, thanks to matching grants, accomplished little.

      Philanthropists, who are not hemmed in by interest groups or institutional restraints, are tempted by the planning fallacy?the conviction that the government turns up bad results because there isn’t a plan. …Public-school systems spend more than $500bn… and the Education Department will spend $87 billion this year…?sums that dwarf the $5 billion that foundations spent….”

      Oh… there’s “A Plan” all right. It just has nothing to do with ‘kids’ or ‘education’. Its about money and power.

  14. Google is magic – look what I found. Last year, President Obama proclaimed National Charter Schools Week.

    “As independent public schools, charter schools have the ability to try innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom. This flexibility comes with high standards and accountability; charter schools must demonstrate that all their students are progressing toward academic excellence. Those that do not measure up can be shut down. And those that are successful can provide effective approaches for the broader public education system.”

    The President’s base doesn’t seem to have caught on – why not rub their noses in this proclamation?

      1. There it is in, ah, black and white (don’t sue me!)

      2. “Those that do not measure up can be shut down”

        I think this was probably the important phrase.

      3. The best way to destroy your enemy is to co-opt them.

        1. Is Obama really that smart?

          1. His speech writers might be.

      4. He read teleprompter real good.

      5. Well it was his second term, which means he was/is more interested in dancing to the tune of the Dem public rather than the Dem institutions, and I have the suspicion that, even among Democrats, school choice enjoys considerable support. The teachers’ unions derive their clout from institutional power, not public popularity, as they are rather unpopular even among their own party’s voters; plenty of big Dem politicians would gladly toss them under the bus if and when they aren’t beholden to them for practical reasons, like support in elections.

    1. why not rub their noses in this proclamation?

      Because it won’t make any difference?

      Viz. if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor; it is unpatriotic to run up the national debt; we should not increase the debt limit; I don’t have the authority to legalize illegal immigrants; there will be no more unauthorized wars.

      The base are team players: for most of them, any hypocrisy can be rationalized.

      1. Look. You would have been able to keep your doctor, but the greedy insurance corporations fucked that up. The debt is only because Republicans won’t allow the government to fleece the rich. As far as abuse of power goes, that only matters when Republicans do it. Duh. Don’t you know anything?

        1. And that’s a perfect example of Team Blue rationalization (I know you’re living up to your handle). I had FB friends who had cheered Obamacare and damned the Republicans publicly, denounce it just as publicly when it started to fall apart by blaming the insurance companies for writing the bill.

          1. Did you have guys who blamed the Republicans because the first time a health insurance mandate was widely propounded was in a paper published by the Heritage Foundation?

            That was the line adopted by the sophisticated proggies in my circle.

            1. I don’t remember them blaming the Rs – although they may have (I have starting avoiding reading too much of most of friends FB pages). They did use the Heritage study during the debates about the ACA as a reason for conservatives to support the bill.

      2. Instead, I think they’d just say “well Obama is basically a right-winger himself” and that they only support him as the lesser of two evils.

        Plenty of progressives hate Obama with a passion because “he doesn’t do enough” or something like that.’ We shouldn’t be fooled by the fact that they cry blasphemy every time someone attacks him from the right. Even then they only care because they see it as evidence of racism or something, not because they actually like him.

  15. The money goes to wall street hedge fund predators. The same crooks that ruined the student debt loans and subprime mortgage loans and run the privatize prisons, have moved to steal money from taxpayer charter schools. Now they are trying to privatize public libraries to steel taxpayer funded libraries. There objective is to steal as much money as they can get off the top with the support of politicians. They shake down and fleece the taxpayers.

    1. Wow. I think someone may have out-derped AmSoc and Tony.

      1. Actually, he’s not far off… they are the same crooks ruining all those institutions.

        The crooks call themselves ‘politicians’, ‘legislators’, ‘presidents’ and ‘governors’.

    2. to steel taxpayer funded libraries

      I’ve always thought steel was a quality building material; I’m not sure what your gripe is.

      1. I larfed.

        That’s a shit ton of derp up there.

    3. Actually, it was the government that stole that money from taxpayers.

    4. They’re Jewish, right?

    5. Let’s keep this guy around. He makes me feel really good about myself.

    6. Now they are trying to privatize public libraries to steel taxpayer funded libraries.

      You’re absolutely right that privatization sucks. But “privatization”, i.e., government taking money in taxes and then handing it private service providers, is not actually a libertarian or free market position. “Privatization” is a progressive position, i.e., what Obama likes, and it doesn’t work in practice.

      The libertarian and free market position is that that government stop taking money from people in the first place so that they can then buy whatever services they want. If there is a need to “help the poor”, a negative income tax or the EITC is sufficient for that.

      So, don’t “privatize public libraries”, stop paying for them altogether; they serve no purpose anymore.

  16. Carl’s 18 Days of Star Wars

    For every dollar* donated to the webathon, I am making a Star Wars post. I’m doing my part, are you?

    Day 5: Star Wars’ abandoned Tunisian locations ? in pictures

    Business at the old Star Wars set isn’t what it used to be. Miles into Tunisia’s southern desert wastes, fantastical structures define the desert landscape. Towers made of wood and fibreglass point fruitlessly into an endless sky. Pipes that lead from nothing to nowhere run between domed buildings that owe nothing to either region, country ? or, strictly speaking, planet.

    Revolution and terrorism have all but destroyed Tunisian tourism and the thriving film industry that helped produce three of the six Star Wars films. Locals who once worked as film crew live alongside the old sets, which now lie neglected, slowly being consumed by the desert.

    *Up to 14, starting today.

    1. On the 5th day of star wars, my true love gave to me…5 Tunisian movie sets…

      1. 4 unemployed extras….

        1. 3 unopened collectible merchandise boxes!

  17. *opera applause*

    Wassail anyone?

    1. Yes please. I’m out of beer.

      1. I’m confused – what do you mean “out of beer”?

        1. I’m at home, and I only have wine, liquor, spray paint, and varnish. No beer.

    2. For the life of me I can’t figure out why “vagina clap” isn’t catching on.

  18. Not getting satisfactory results? Hmm, must be that YOU DID NOT SPEND ENOUGH! /progderp

    1. Yeah, because (to take an example) if there’s a hole in the bottom of your glass it’s pretty [bleep]ing stupid to think the problem is you aren’t pouring enough beer in it, so if you just pour some more it will fill up!

  19. Cusato-Rosa “despises” the argument that schools can’t succeed because they don’t have enough money.

    If getting more money is the goal, how else would you measure success? The idea that we’re coughing up more money “for the children” is a straight-up con job. And all the crap about the government needing to provide more money for college education for the kiddies because college for some strange reason keeps getting more expensive is proof enough that too many stupid people haven’t figured out the con yet.

  20. Given teacher salaries, this should result in a student teacher ratio of 4 or 5 to 1, which is essentially private tutoring.

    1. More and more money is going into administration and capital expenses.

    1. Considering his career body of work, Shoop shouldnt have a job as OC ever. Why did Purdue hire him, did they not look at his record at UNC?

    2. Wait one minute – you are telling me that the NYT wrote a story about a white man being fired while the black man kept his?

      [checks for other signs of the apocalypse… ok, none yet]

  21. For more on Cusato-Rosa’s charter school,

    That’d be the “KIPP Lanning Square Middle School”, grade “F”:…..e/quality/

    A miracle!

    1. It says “no rating” when I click – I don’t know what you’re seeing.

      1. Confirmation bias.

      2. Here’s what I’m seeing, which is right there in plain sight at that link:

        “ rating F
        Learn more about this school’s rating


  22. Up thread IQ came up. Is it BS? Here is how you tell:

    The question is – would you rather have a 70 IQ piloting your 747 or a 130 IQ?

  23. Proggies hate Obama because he won’t deschedule cannabis. Women, children, and minorities hurt the most.

    1. If that’s true, it’s only because they want the “tax and burdensomely regulate” part of legalization.

      1. I keep telling them that “tax an regulate” is an excuse to kill. But they don’t care to listen.

  24. Based on what liberals say, gov’t schooling is great. It just needs more money, more control, and no competition from charter schools and private education.

    Many folks love socialism……that is until they suffer the effects of it. Unfortunately, being they face no consequenes for advocating robbery of others, advocate for more money, and control believing if only the right top men were controlling it, only then could it “work”.

  25. Newark’s traditional public schools spent a whopping $18,208 […] So Why Are They In ‘Extreme Chronic Fiscal Distress?’

    If you overpay for goods and services by a factor of 2-3, it should be pretty obvious why you would be in “extreme chronic financial distress”.

    1. But, but…….why do you hate the childrenz???

      Private companies are so evil. With all their economizing, and going out if business if they are bad economic actors. Think of the childrenz, and how hard it would be on their little minds if they had to move schools! The thought of their school shuttering, or even being taken over by some other business is just crazy.

      Talking about change, and throwing money at the problem, while it remains a problem with huge legacy costs and misalocation of resources is what is needed.

      But, coming from a bear, you’re probably a big meanie!

  26. $208 per student, $18,000 per student count for outreach programs, high paying district and consulting jobs, studies, zero tolerance enforcement, non-education related indoctrination, etc, etc, etc. Progressives don’t spend money on what they advertise, they make high paying bullshit gigs for progressives.

  27. Give parents $9,000 and you save half and they can send their kids to far better private schools.

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