John Williams: No on Amendment 66
October 29, 2013
To the editor:
Again we hear the cry, more money for education. Several constants have been imbedded in our education system for a long time, and until these are eliminated, there never will be enough money to fix the problem of poor results.
The Department of Education: Eliminate it, one size fits all out of Washington never has worked and will never work. The only thing it provides is a conduit for social engineering (read: indoctrination). Of particular concern at this time is the Common Core curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education. If you have not heard of Common Core, then you are poorly informed about your child's education.
Teachers unions: Eliminate them, they simply are counterproductive to the job of educating students. The current structure places too many constraints on taxpayers and administrators.
Teacher tenure: Eliminate it, as with any vocation, longevity does not guarantee success. Any and all job retention or pay raises should be based on merit. It is unfair for the taxpayer to foot the bill and a disservice to the student who goes to the school. Remove unqualified or unproductive teachers; hire those who can produce results and pay them accordingly.
Give control to the states: This will allow the taxpayers to have more control of what goes on and someone closer to home to vote out of office if they stray from the program, it is easier to watch what goes on at the state level than the federal level. The states that fail to address the problem will, by their own lack of effort, lose out until they get with the program. Each state knows what is best suited for its needs far better than the federal government. Fifty states will provide fifty laboratories, and the odds are much better of coming up with a working plan, as the current system is a failure. Each state would be free to copy all or part of another state's system to come up with the best possible plan for their own use.
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Amendment 66 claims some money will go to the Public Employees' Retirement Association of Colorado but fails to guarantee how much. There also appears to be very little control on how the money will be spent.
Consider the following scenario: When the train wreck happens caused by out-of-control spending by Democrats and the printing of funny money by the Fed, your IRA, 401K or other retirement plan is going to tank, as will public service retirement plans. The big difference will be that you will be stuck with the problem of your own retirement but will get stuck with a double hit to bail out the public service pensions. Now, how much of this billion dollars per year is going to wind up in education? Remember, there are tens of trillions of unfunded liabilities for pension plans out there. It would not be surprising to see a Democrat president like Barack Obama bail out union pensions, as well, just to pay back his supporters. (Remember General Motors?) Vote "no" on Amendment 66.