Thursday, February 12, 2009

Schools desperately need traditional federal aid |

What moral principle drives politicians and pundits to argue for sharply reduce spending on school repair and construction in the economic stimulus plan? Remember this unconscionable omission, the next time you read about overcrowded schools, schools infected with toxic mold, and bricks literally falling off out of the walls.

The children ARE our future, and this country has the resources it takes to give them a decent education. Last time I checked, the CEOs who made off with all the loot still have a lot of yachts in dry dock. Maybe they can hold a bake sale to help pay for America's crumbling schools.

Schools desperately need traditional federal aid

"Let’s suppose your neighborhood public school is falling down. Should the federal government help repair or replace it?

No, say many Republicans in Congress. The House approved $20 billion for school construction last week, as part of President Obama’s stimulus plan. On Tuesday, under pressure from GOP critics, the Senate removed these funds from its own version of the bill. Now the House and Senate have to hammer out a compromise, which Democrats want to ready for Obama’s signature by Monday.

According to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the chief architects of the Senate stimulus bill, Republicans think school construction is a “state and local role” rather than a “federal role.”

They’re wrong. During our last great economic crisis, in the 1930s, the federal government spent heavily on school construction. Indeed, Franklin D. Roosevelt made school repair and renovation a central priority of his own recovery plan. And we could all stand to learn from it."

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